Monday, November 25, 2013

Too good not to share!!

I love a quality product so I had to share this great find with everyone!  The hubby's super talented cousin, Emily, started an online business called Teeny Dreamer that turns your child's favorite drawing into real life.  This side of the family is well known for their artistic talents, but the real life versions of these children's drawings are amazing.

My pal V just ordered one for her daughter, and see for yourself!


Think of how excited children will be to get their finished product!

I just wish the boys were old enough that I could get them one too...you better believe I'm keeping a CLOSE eye on their artwork from now on.

Please show Emily some love, check out the website, share her link on Facebook, or post a blog about your purchase.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I am a little Perplexed


With the hubby off training, I am no longer subjected to sitting through recorded episodes of bizarre post-apocalypse shows on the SciFi channel.  I've slowly started to find some new favorites (Duck Dynasty, where have you been all my life?!?) and "What Not to Wear" sparked my interest.

Who doesn't love shopping with a free gift card?  It also got me thinking.

Is this show helping women understand what styles are best for their body type or forcing the current fashion trends on women who otherwise were happy?

While watching there is frequently one area of each woman's body that they are uncomfortable with, which drives most of their wardrobe to conceal it or accentuate another area.  I enjoy watching the hosts give encouragement and attempt to increase each persons self esteem by telling them they are beautiful...but even more so AFTER the full makeover is complete.  This almost makes me feel like telling the participants "there is a beautiful woman inside" is only validated after her clothes, hair, and make-up is to everyone else's standard of beauty.

I do understand that changing one's outside appearance can drastically affect one's mood and level of confidence.  If so, more power to ya!  I just continue to wonder if it sends the wrong message.

I fully admit that I have a biased point of view.

During High School, I attended Seminary (early morning scripture study) which started at 0600, Monday-Friday.  This did two things: started my day off on the right path, and made for one seriously tired teenager.  My mother didn't wear make-up, and my older sister was 5 years older and wasn't around to give me beauty tips.  Armed with teenage hormones and all the joys of high school, I decided that EVERY second I could spare would be devoted to sleep.  This meant going to bed with a wet head of hair, never wearing make-up and throwing on whatever pair of jeans/t-shirt combo was clean.

The part of my body I loathed in HS, due to rumors and hateful comments from jealous girls, is the part of my body that I finally embraced as an adult.  Having a large rack gets attention, wanted or not, so I focused on concealment and baggy t-shirts for quite a few years.  I finally embraced the girls after HS, and stopped being embarrassed that I was a girl.

Even though my clothing changed, I still don't wear make up.  The only real exception was HS formals, my wedding day, and Military Balls.  The older I get, the more freckles grace my cheeks and slowly taking over my face, but I LOVE them!  They've taken over my nose & cheeks, and have started to spread upwards around my eyebrows.  If I wore traditional make-up to "even out" my skin tone, it would cover my freckles, and I'm bad at applying eye make-up.

When I talk about make-up people often say, "but you don't HAVE to wear make-up."  The reality is I don't WANT to, so I don't.  Why do I need to conform my face so it is visibly appealing for someone else, when I am happy with how it looks now.  When most people wear make-up everyday, it is extremely noticeable when they don't.  I am not saying it's bad to wear make-up, just that it isn't bad to be all natural either.

It took many years (almost 25) for me to be comfortable with my body, and who I was as a person.  So, if two people walked up to me and said I dress poorly and look like a homeless person, I'd have to force myself to refrain from punching them in the throat.  There is aspects of my body that I hate (saddlebags should ONLY be on a horse), but I am happy with who I am as a person regardless of what I wear or if I'm wearing make-up.

I've come to the conclusion that there are good aspects to the show.  When these woman gain self-confidence and embrace themselves as beautiful, everybody wins.  That being said, if they go back to wearing tie-dyed t-shirts and camo pants and are happy, then let your freak flag fly girl!

Monday, August 5, 2013

The FIRST I wasn't looking forward to


The sound is undeniable.  As I hear the distinctive chime on my radio, I stop, turn the volume up and begin to softly whisper, "over 18, over 18, over 18."

"Attention ED staff, Attention ED staff, standby for CODE medical Cardiac Arrest...16 yr old..."

I pick up the pace and head to the Resuscitation room.  Our Paramedic is already there grabbing supplies and setting up.  I take a quick survey of what else needs to be done and begin to help.

"Peds respiratory, you're needed to Peds Resus STAT."

More people start to fill the room, roles are assigned and we all take our place.

I've been a nurse for 4 years and up until that day, I had never done chest compressions.  I'd helped bag, done charting, given meds, do procedures, and assist, just never compressions.  It isn't something that I was afraid of, the role was just always assigned to someone else.

Someone in the hallway calls out, "CPR in progress" as I hear the ambulance bay doors open.  I immediately grab the stool and have it ready.

The EMS personnel stayed to help with compressions, switching out every 2 minutes or whenever someone got tired.  It was WAY more tiring than I ever could have imagined.  Towards the end, the RN assigned to medication offered to switch roles to give me a break.  I was out of breath and I could feel the sweat dripping down my face.

A parent was brought in, and as they called out their child's name I could feel my eyes welling up with tears.  I was so focused up until that point, and as I turned away I found comfort in seeing almost every person in the room struggling with the same thing.  I said I silent prayer for The Lord to PLEASE help me not break down in front of the family...that would be saved for the drive home.  All efforts continued with a time frame set.  Then it was called.

Later, I took an opportunity to hug the parent and tell them that we loved them.

I spent the rest of the day trying to focus on the task at hand.  I re-entered my assigned rooms, apologized about the wait, and continued on for rest of the shift.  I saved the tears for the drive home, and anytime I am alone and think of the children that left this world too soon.

I keep thinking back to a specific moment in High School.  My mom worked nights, and as I went into the dining room one morning, I saw her crying.  When I asked what was wrong, she said one of her patients had passed away that night.  I felt bad that she was sad, but I didn't truly understand...until now.

I truly love being a Nurse. I am also grateful that eventually I realized my mom was right, and following in her footsteps was the right choice.  I work with such an amazing group of talented people who are self motivated and will not hesitate to help out whenever needed.

Even though my career is challenging, physically/mentally/emotionally, it is rewarding.  I try to stay focused on the patients & families that make me smile, and my work family that keeps me coming back.  When faced with tragedies, I think about how blessed I am to Love what I do.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's the END OF THE WORLD...or I've lost my taste in fashion

For several months I've been on the look out for some new tops.  I always seem to pick the same colors and very plain t-shirts and I am trying hard to NOT look frumpy.

Earlier this week when I had some time to kill I went to a few stores and couldn't bring myself to try on a single item.  The only tops I liked were solids and mostly either black or white.  I don't know about most of you but I don't look good in hot pink/orange/yellow/lime, turquoise/orange combo or these grandma floral prints that I swear came from curtains in a nursing home.  I thought we were over the 80/90's look of stone washed jeans, lace/sheer combo, and putting spikes/studs on clothing.  Also, I know there are other curvy ladies out there who don't appreciate the horizontal stripes.

The final insult was today, at Forever 21, where the hubby found this:


A Storm Trooper holding a boom box. (There was also one with Chewbacca in Aviators...I vetoed both)

As you can see by the look on my face, I just threw up in my mouth a little.  I will admit to being a Star Wars fan, but WHO does this cut look flattering on?  Everything is in a flowing cut, which does NOTHING for those of us who are, ummmm, blessed up top.  Clothing worn during the day shouldn't look like sleep shirt, which is what the hubby suggested I use this top for.

I personally blame this on two people, Taylor Swift and Hipsters.  They are destroying America, I'm sure of it.

I'm prepping for the Apocalypse, are you?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wait...what was I doing?

I love Goodreads.  It is a great place to find new books that your friends have liked and find reviews from real people.  It also mocks me.  It seems I get a daily email update with new reviews from my friends who can actually finish a book.

I have a Kindle, which I stole from the hubby after it went almost a year without being used, that is great for series and cheaper for new releases.  That being said, there are some authors that you have to get the hardback because understanding the format for footnotes on the Kindle might as well be Arabic.

I am in the middle of several books right now, and with all the time I spend NOT at work lately, I started to really get frustrated as to why I can't seem to finish any of them.

Each morning after I finally fall back to sleep, from my complimentary kiss goodbye from Sexy Beast, my days seem to play out the same way...




Waking up to a smiling face two inches away and/or Cooper crying because Carter looked at him wrong.

Bargaining with the promise of Caillou or Little Einsteins if someone will get a scoop of food for Koa while I cleverly hide Benadryl & Phenobarbital in hot dogs pieces.

Corralling Carter off the kitchen counter as he puts his inhaler on the spacer, then the meltdown because he doesn't have the hand strength to pump it.

Explaining who's turn it is for everything.

Wrestling with Cooper to try a bite of oatmeal, which he did, then cleaning up the mouthful I was able to get in Carter, which he spit out and started gagging.

Pulling Cooper off the shelving in the pantry as he is inches away from the coveted fruit snacks on the top shelf.

Doing laundry & dishes left in the sink from the night before because I decided "it can wait."

Holding back Koa with one foot as I try to answer the door for my FedEx package...which as soon as I remove the contents a fight ensues over who's plane/rocket ship it is.

Redirecting the boys every 10 seconds while attempting to pick up the spilled box of crayons, while Cooper says, "I'm too busy."

Carter insisting on sitting on my lap because I took a second to sit and blog, with Cooper crying because he wants to play with the iPad, and Koa scratching at my leg & grumbling due to lack of attention.

Saying "did you wipe" every time I hear the toilet flush.

Explaining, over crying/screaming, that TV time is over and there is a mountain of toys & books in the playroom...which no longer "spooky" or has monsters because Koa & Mommy scared them all away.

Wrestling an apple out of Koa's mouth that Carter decided he no longer wanted it.

Telling Cooper that "hiccups" do not warrant a visit to the Doctor.

Listening to Cooper scream "MINE" and Carter dances around him laughing with whatever toy he decided to take away.

Standing up to give the look, and watching Carter instantly stop & hand the toy back.

Applying the 18th Star Wars Angry Birds band-aid to the invisible wound on various extremities.

Attempting to calm Cooper down fast enough before he makes himself puke.



...and they have only been awake for two hours...





Koa is also a great tattle tale and will come find me and cry if the boys are doing something they shouldn't.  I am SUPER grateful that Cooper is now potty trained, and I have not had to buy diapers/wipes in over a month!!  Here's hoping that one day I won't have to reread several chapters to remember what was going on in a book...I'm thinking 15 years :o)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I think I'm being punished

I've always boasted about my Sexy Beast being the chef in our house (also housekeeper, handyman, gardener, and walking work of art, but who's counting).  It's not that I don't know how, I just hate it.  I LOVE baking and making pretty things but standing over a stove and trying to coordinate everything finishing at the same time always ends up in a failed attempt for me.  I'm more a boxed dinner kind of girl...which is why I think I'm being punished.

Last month Cart-baby was hospitalized due to dehydration from a nasty stomach bug, and the chronic diarrhea for almost 3 months.  When I got his blood work back I was not prepared.  He is allergic to egg whites, wheat, and cow's milk.  SERIOUSLY?!

We have since cleaned out our pantry and done some serious shopping at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, & The Apple Crate.  I've found some great recipes, discovered the boys will drink rice milk and eat goat cheese.  My mom got us a ton of great Paleo (pretty much the diet we've all had to switch to) books and cookbooks

Now I have to provide all their meals at daycare which really cuts into my sitting down being lazy time.  My 25 minute shopping trips to the Commissary have turned into 3 hr excursions in 3 different cities to get everything I need, only after reading EVERY ingredient label.

Even though I am doing something I hate, the boys finally have a great appetite.  We're still waiting on Cooper's results, but since we switched their diet last month, his GI issues have disappeared as well.

I guess 30 yrs of laziness was good enough.



We even were able to take a trip to Tennessee using our timeshare for the indoor waterpark.  Having a full kitchen made everything so much easier!!  We made all our food & the boys had a blast.  Cooper still talks about the tunnels we went through on the drive and said we needed to go back to TN so we could see the tunnels again.  We also stopped by Ripley's Aquarium on our way out and the boys loved it!






Maybe everything will be alright :o)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Sisterhood and Service




No matter how many times I get frustrated with the Army, I have to remind myself that it has been a blessing in my life.  Being separated from a husband is not something most women would ask for, but it has helped me gain a self-reliance and situational awareness that I didn't think possible.

In the absence of our soldiers, time after time, I see Army Wives band together in joy, frustration, service, and sometimes sorrow.  This sisterhood lasts long beyond the end of deployments and carries with them as they PCS to the next duty station.

It can be witnessed on a large scale in fundraisers, support groups, or on TV.  That being said, it is the small acts of service that mean the most and set an example to those around you.

Someone showing up unannounced with dinner.

Late night phone calls to vent, cry, or talk about your day.

A smile from a stranger when it's your first FRG meeting.

Mowing a lawn.

Going shopping for a new Ball gown or homecoming outfit.

Giving a ride to a doctors appointment.

Sending a card just because.

Watching a sick child because they can't miss one more day of work.

Volunteering a spouse as a shuttle to/from the airport.

Sharing the number of your favorite babysitter.

I am EXTREMELY lucky that I have had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing women that I never feel lost, and know I can pick up the phone and talk to someone that knows exactly what I'm going through.  No matter how many months have passed since the last conversation, it's easy to pick up right where you left off.  They never turn down a plea for help and always look for ways to aid those in need.

I love my fellow Army Wives & all the women I've met in my travels.  These ladies never cease to inspire me and give me hope even in the darkest of hours.

This all was inspired due to some nagging thoughts of failure about how many Army Wife friends I've made since moving here.  I quickly realized that a number is just a number, but the quality of friends is what has helped me survive!

I have also felt immense support and teamwork in the Nursing field, and specifically where I'm currently employed.  We sink or swim together, and if one person is swamped it is because we all are. People care if someone has a sick child/spouse, or having trouble outside of work.  They are willing to switch shifts or cover for another for doctor appointments, school functions, or special occasions.

I am doing my best to recognize how rich my life is and enjoy the blessings I have!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Training starts now

Today my twinkies are turning 3!  Cooper is talking non-stop and there doesn't seem to be a puzzle or gate that can stump Carter.

Since they are getting older, we decided it was time to introduce one of the most important lessons they will ever learn.  How to be part of a team.  So, with the Zombie Apocalypse forever looming, training must start now.

What kind of team would we be without T-shirts?

For the hubby, our Sniper:


For me, the Medic:


 and the boys, because it made me crack up!


We hope that once the hubby retires, we will be able to live in an area that we will have enough room for more hands on training.  For now, they'll just have to wear these AWESOME shirts from this Etsy shop!  The owner was super patient and generous with her time while we finalized exactly what I wanted.

Happy Birthday boys!!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I NEED HELP!!!

Those of you that are familiar with the military are well versed in the term "mandatory fun."  This can be used for unit events that force the soldier to be present, and by guilt, the spouse as well.

The Brigade Ball is in 22 days and the panic starting to build.  With the AMAZING help of a fellow Army Wife & Nurse, Lora, I was able to find a dress that made me feel pretty, and I already have a black jacket that will work well with it.  Here is the bead work at the top:


I've already decided on my hair, but now I need to find jewelry that will compliment the bead work.  I feel that since the dress is primarily white, black jewelry will work best.  I've been searching Etsy to find something, because I like to support small business, but I can't make up my mind!!!  I don't want a long necklace, but figured a choker style would probably work best.

Which do you like the best??

**I've narrowed it down even more, which is why the #s aren't in order**

1)Ribbon and pearl necklace, black  pearl seed beads necklace, fringe pearl necklace, seed beads jewelry, 7PM boutique, weaved necklace

3)Black Multi Layer Bead Necklace

8)CLEARANCE PRICED  Women's Beaded Necklace bugle beads black button clasp elegant

11)All facet cut seed beads, "Black Lace" beaded choker, adjustable necklace.

12)Black and White Ribbon Flower Beaded Necklace With Earrings -Rhinestone Flowers, Cluster Necklace, Handmade, Bridal, Wedding Jewelry, Custom

15)Handmade beaded  necklace ,hand crochet black necklace, gift for her

16)Elegant Black Beaded Layered 16" Necklace

19)Tuxedo Junction - Elegant OOAK Hand Beaded Coral Design Necklace in different Black finishes Color Combination OOAK

If you've seen something you love let me know, but I don't want to spend over $40.

PLEASE HELP!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

How Important is a 3rd Birthday?

I've been debating for quite a few months on whether or not to have an actual party for the boys birthday next month.  We celebrated their first two birthdays with cake & family and close friends, and I'm not sure if 3 is the age to start having parties.


The boys attended their first party this weekend at Monkey Joes (inflatable bounce houses/slides).  Cooper played with all the kids and had a blast.  Carter started it off with a bang...in his diaper...and all over his pants...all before we even walked in.  He then preceded to refuse to play with anyone and threw tantrum after tantrum.  I'm just glad the hubby was around to help!!

Can I just tell you how awkward it was around the other parents from daycare!  Since I drop the boys off at 0555 & pick them up at 1930, I never see any of the other parents in their classroom.  Some of the parents recognized the boys while other said they've never seen them before.  I thought I might have something to talk to people about, since at least one of the parents works at the hospital, but no.  Maybe I just don't know how to interact with people in a social setting.  We'll save that for another post.

I've asked some people from work and their opinions vary as well.

Do I have a small "party" with the few adult friends I have or invite some of the kids from daycare & co-workers kids to a party at the house with food & other activities.

I'm still debating on whether or not to make the cake or just order one.  The boys are really into Spider-Man right now, so it would be easy to order cakes....but I kind of enjoy making the cake.  After seeing how awful Carter was this weekend, I can say that a destination party is out!  If I did have one, I would have it at the house.

Am I putting too much thought into this?