Sunday, January 29, 2012

Turning 4

Four years ago today you graced us with your presence ~
I wasn't quite ready to be a grandma.  I wasn't quite ready to think that I might be getting older.  I wasn't quite ready to see our lives change so much.  I wasn't quite ready to know that the next generation was coming.
Then I heard that you were growing.  I got excited to meet you.  I got ready to find out who you were.
Your mom and dad decided not to find out if you were a boy or a girl.  I didn't really care...all I really wanted was for you to be healthy and whole.

After a long night and day of labor your daddy finally brought you out to us...and with tears in his eyes and love in his voice, he said, "It's a girl!" And they named you Lillean Victoria (we call you Lily now, though I love your long, regal name)

Boy, did I fall for you in a heartbeat.  You were finally here.  You were healthy.  You had ten fingers and ten toes.  I had adjusted to the idea of having a grand-baby, yet still couldn't adjust to being called "grandma", so in honor of your Hispanic heritage we decided that you would call me, "Lita".  That I could handle.  That didn't sound so old. But, no matter what you call me, you were and are beautiful and oh so adored.

Today you had a party to celebrate your fourth birthday.  The past four years have flown by.  You have grown from a beautiful baby in to a beautiful little girl.  You are funny and spontaneous.  You are obedient.  You are curious.  You are athletic.  You love dolls and barbies and princesses and animals of all kinds.  I often try to remember a time when you weren't here and wonder where we'd be if there were no Lily.  And I keep falling in love with you.

Happy 4th Birthday Lily!!

The day was sunny and warm - perfect for an outdoor party!

Daddy and Nessa cooked us a good meal and many of your family members were able to come celebrate with you.
Daddy and his little girl

Daddy, Vanessa and Lily
Great grandma and grandpa
Daddy, Nessa, Papa Buzz and Uncle Rudy
Auntie E and Tim came.
Nana and Auntie Abby.
Of course your G-Diddy (grandpa) was there as well as your Auntie Shel.
Auntie Abby, Auntie Annette, Louisa and Papa were there too.

Mitch and Auntie Shel                                                                
And they all brought you presents:

And of course a puppy for you to enjoy.
 You had a princess cake 

I loved how you would open a gift an exclaim, "Oh, I really wanted this!", or "Oh, I love these!"  You are such a good gift opener...and you made everyone laugh as you would look at each card, act as if you were reading it and say, "Happy Birthday Lily"

The traditional money pull on the brown paper end...and out rolls cash!

I love the joy you expressed - wonderfully captured in this photo:
The Hello Kitty scooter was one of your favorite presents.

Then it was on to the pinata.  You tried so hard to hit it.  You really wanted to break it open and you didn't like that Daddy put a blindfold on you.  You were a good sport about it though.

Auntie E giving it a try

Then you attacked the thing and broke it open.
Papa Buzz and Auntie E dumping out all of the candy.
I love you so much little girl.  It was such a fun day having a party to celebrate you!  May you continue to explore your world with the wonderful curiosity that you posses.
You are our precious child ~

You and your favorite gift - Thanks Daddy!
"Dad, Watch how fast I am!"

Happy 4th Birthday!!
Love you bunches,

Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Heart Penny

I know that she is fat and lazy
But I love this dog none the less.
She is sweet, snuggable and protective.
My pup Penny.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Killing Me

This book:
And the class that it is used for is killing me.
Maybe taking pathophysiology in 8 weeks is a bit much.
The lectures are long.
The weekly reading content is overwhelming (five chapters a week of things that can go wrong with the body...)
The tests take forever.
Sure they are take home exams.
Yet, I work on them 4-5 hours.
Thank God we do not have to take the exams in class....I'd surely fail.
I have one small project done.
And I have a huge final project yet to do.
I plan to conquer this class.
It is killing me in the process...but I will finish.
Patho - you will not win!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Million Mom's Challenge

I agree that this should never happen.
Childbirth should be safe and families should be valued.
A recent cause that I believe in is the Million Mom's Challenge
The following is taken from their website:

"It should be the happiest moment in a mother's life: the moment when she holds her new baby in her arms for the first time. A new life -- full of hope, of love and wonder.

But in some parts of the world, pregnancy and childbirth is a time fraught with worry, and with good reason. The statistics are stunning:

Every 90 seconds, a woman dies during pregnancy or childbirth. Most of those deaths are in the developing world.

1 in 5 women in Africa loses a baby in her lifetime. In richer countries, that number is around 1 in 125.

Almost 8 million children die each year before their 5th birthdays—that's almost 21,000 children each day—from largely preventable causes.

But there is good news: there are easy solutions, and they're not far from reach.

It costs just pennies a day to provide moms and babies with proper nutrition, to train midwives to help during childbirth, to vaccinate children against life-threatening diseases and to use simple, innovative technology to deliver crucial health information to women and health workers in remote areas.

By engaging a million Americans with millions of mothers in the developing world around issues that directly impact pregnancy, childbirth and children's health, the Million Moms Challenge will raise awareness and funds to help women and children everywhere survive and thrive.

The Million Moms Challenge brings together a coalition of more than a dozen world-class partners working around the globe to improve the lives of women and children. The Million Moms Challenge will focus on crucial issues that are a priority for all mothers, including access to proper nutrition to support healthy pregnancies, trained midwives to assist in safe deliveries, and vaccines that enable children to survive to their first birthdays and beyond. The Million Moms Challenge is sponsored in part by ABC News, the UN Foundation, BabyCenter and Johnson & Johnson, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation."

Check out the million mom's challenge website 
and watch this 20/20 video to see what it is all about ~


Monday, January 23, 2012

Neonatal Resuscitation

Every two years we need to renew our neonatal resuscitation certification.
This year we are using the 6th edition book and there are a few changes...such as using an oxygen saturation monitor and adjusting the oxygen use according to that.
Oxygen has been found to be harmful at some levels so the medical community is starting to use less in an effort to prevent harm.
This is all explained in the new book:

Some babies need a little help at delivery.
Some don't breath spontaneously for whatever reason.
Some are born premature.
Some have a traumatic birth due to labor complications.
This is why the labor and delivery staff is trained to handle these babies.
Yes, most deliveries happen without a hitch - but in the event something does happen, you'd want your caregivers to be up to date on all of the recent changes.
Right?  Hence, the need to train and update.

So, every couple of years - you buy the new NRP book
You read the book, study it as much as you can, then you are expected to take an online exam.
You have to pass the exam, print your certificate, the do a mega code, or simulation with an instructor to show that you are capable of resuscitation a newborn.

Doesn't sound too hard - right?  Especially since I've been attending births for 20 years.  You'd think I'd have this resuscitation thing down.
Well, I have to say that this 6th edition has been the hardest exam that I can remember.
It is broken up in to 9 exams. You have to pass each exam.  If you fail one section twice then you have to pay to start over.  The only good thing is that the tests are no longer timed so that takes a little of the pressure off.
Well, I failed chapter 4 - the chapter on compressions (just once though - passed it on the second go round)....
Since my experience I have had other nurses call me or text me in a panic because they too have failed certain parts.  I think the exam questions are just harder.  I really don't think that we all fail at helping babies at deliveries.

The algorithm is slightly different - but not too much.

So why all of the panic?
One, we all want to keep our jobs.  And, most nurses are perfectionists, so to "fail" doesn't sit right with us. Oh, and none of us wants to pay to retake the exam!
I have become the "go to person" to help those that fail the exam...I've had people text me whole exams and we work through the questions.  I've gone to friend's homes and sat with them as they worked through the exam.  Even my friend in Oregon used my experience to help her.
Today, another friend called and we talked it through.  We are all passing!!
I think I could probably teach the class at this point since I have reviewed it with so many friends.  I just wish it wasn't so stressful for everyone getting to this point.  Yes, it is good to review and update.  Even if we do struggle to get through the exam.  I can only hope that the mega code later this week is survivable ~

For this is what we all want in the end:

A healthy, pink, screaming baby!

P.S. ~ Don't forget to thank your health care provider for doing all they need to do to stay up to date!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wrapped in Sterile Surgical Towel

How many of you can say that you receive gifts that are wrapped in blue, sterile, surgical towels??
Well, I can!
I went to work and found this lovingly wrapped gift in my shoe cubby.
No card, no explanation, just a name on the label ~

I'm sure the wrapping was part of hiding contraband in the hospital...
But I'm not sure why my friend gave it to me.
I don't remember doing anything for her that she wanted to say thanks for.
It wasn't my birthday.
It wasn't Christmas.
It wasn't my anniversary.
She left me a gift none the less.
That is the type of person that I work with.  We support each, we care about each other and sometimes we do random acts of kindness just for the heck of it.
A gift with a different wrapping, and probably only something a nurse would do for another nurse ~
Thanks Marsha!!
Your gift will be used wisely - like when I need some creative spark for homework or need to unwind from the place that gives us a paycheck.
Love you bunches, love your wrap job...though I still don't know why you gave me a gift  :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Mandatory sepsis class today.

Sepsis is a big buzz word in the medical community right now for it kills.
215,000 Americans die each year from sepsis.

Basically it is an overwhelming infection where your immune system goes haywire. It is a  toxic response to any infection.

The hospital where I work has developed a new order set and new algorithm to help us identify patients that may be at risk for this deadly disease process.
Hence the class today.  
I feel better able to identify these patients....and just a little scared at how serious a disease process it is.   I think we sometimes get a little complacent in our care and don't realize that something is wrong until it is too late.  This class was a good wake up call / or reminder if you will.

The following video is from the sepsis alliance web site.
Speaks to the problem in a concise manner.  Be sure to mute my music button below.

For more information you can go to the sepsis alliance web site.

 As much as I hate going in to work on my day off for a mandatory class, I am glad to be more educated on the subject.
And it fits right in with my pathophysiology class that I am currently taking.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Sometimes life gets in the way of the things that I like to do...
like blog
like read (not textbooks)
like play with Lily
like go to lunch with friends
like sit and do nothing - HA!

Life just is busy....
I finished statistics and a research class - passed both thank goodness.
The holidays came and went...AND I was able to get out cards with a short letter.
We demolished the kitchen and we are now waiting on's an empty, gutted, cold room right now.
We have the kitchen 'prepped' for those new cupboards.
Took one dog to the vet and get her caught up on her vaccines.
Started about boring reading.
Have added more patients to our comfort care program - so in addition to working full time in labor and delivery I am busy seeing patients on the outside at home or their doctor's office.

But somehow I still find time to see my parents, go out with my hubby and take Lily to places like the Discovery Center. (we are wanting to add horse back riding lessons to our time together too)

It is a full life
It is a busy life
Definitely not a boring life
A life that I wouldn't trade.....except I wish I could blog, relax, pleasure read and sleep more often...HA!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Bucket List

Some of you already know this....but I have one crazy bucket list item...
That is to:
Deliver a baby somewhere a little at Disneyland, or Hume Lake Christian Camp, or the mall, or along the side of the freeway.
I think it would be fun, scary and just a bit challenging.  But I'd love to have that opportunity. Weird I know.

Well, the other day it almost happened....almost but not quite.
I took a patient to a room, she went to change in the bathroom.
She looked like she was hurting but not ready to push and never complained about the need to push.
Well, as you can probably guess I hear. "I think the baby is coming!"
I'm alone in the room with her.
Nothing is set up for the patient just got there.
Luckily I had gloves on as I was cleaning the wheelchair.
I checked and sure enough....the head is half out.
I pull the emergency cord.
I think to myself (in a matter of seconds) I lay her on the floor, sit her on the toilet, or help her to the bed?

Long story short - she agrees to walk back to the bed....we must have looked pretty funny - me holding the head and she wobbling back to bed.
No sooner did she lie down that her healthy little girl was born - and by then I had help in the room as well as blankets and even a doctor.

(a different baby....I didn't actually have a camera handy for this quick delivery - HA!)

I was so close to my bucket list event ~  just need it to be in the bathroom at  Target. Ha!