Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring Weather In The Winter...

The good thing about Texas is that Winter Blues should usually be on the mend by the end of February. Over the weekend, EK and I got out of the house to enjoy the daffodils and gorgeous East Texas weather. I got to take lots of fun pictures- look at how she has grown from last spring!

May 2011

February 26th- 2012

Isn't she the sweetest? She would win a cute baby contest any day in my book.


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Nursery We Would Have Made... If We Had Built One.

Call us delusional, but Ryan and I didn't plan on having children for quite some time. We built this house that is half shop, half house. More like condo... whatever, it only has one bedroom. One bathroom. One kitchen/living area. It's huge for this, but there is no baby space. The plan was to live in this for five or six years, then build our dream home, then have like 14 kids. Yeah, no. Within 3 weeks of moving into country-barn-luxury-condo, I got the big fat positive -OH CRAP HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?!- home pregnancy test. About eight months to the day of our move in, we had EK.

We debated on where to keep her. The bedroom? Thank God we decided against this... she never slept. When she DID sleep, her tracheomalacia made her snort and gurgle like a furnace... no sleep would ever occur if she was in our room. We thought about the bathroom. Probably too noisy. So, we ended up parking the crib right in the middle of Grand Central Station- aka the living room. "Decorating" was hard. The bedding couldn't clash too much with the color of our huge rug, it would drive me insane. Ryan's parents gave her a gorgeous crib that matched our furniture well enough, and my parents gifted us the perfect bedding to match our current decor.  We found a nice changing table that went along with everything.

It sounds weird to have your baby sleep in the living room, but somehow it has worked for 13 months and 14 days worth of nights. There has been the occasional late night wake up when Ryan comes home from work, but for the most part our kid sleeps like a rock. (knock on wood!)

Crib... I have since made Ryan move it to be centered!
The changer sits to the right of the crib now. The TV is on the wall  to the right, recliners to the left.
I'm so happy that Pinterest wasn't popular when I was pregnant. I'm sure I would have made Ryan built an add-on just so I could put some of those precious ideas to use. If you check out my pinBoards, you can see that I am looking forward to her next "big girl room".... just a little bit.

Go check out all the other mommies who have linked up with Growing Up Geeky for Toddle Along Tuesday! This week's theme is nurseries.


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, February 25, 2012


I'm about to post about my dogs again. It's been a while since I've brought them up. I still miss those two wonderful old souls  I continue to look for them, I haven't given up hope.

My heart has started to heal. Here's why-
Do you see it?  I do. 

I have a mini Hank on my hands. The way Jake lays beside me when I am sitting outside, the way he snuggles up to be as close as possible, those deep brown eyes, and smart but sensitive nature.... they are all Hank. Granted, Hank never tackled EK (he probably wanted to, just for fun), but they are so alike it is weird.

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Keeping Up With Your....Toes.

I had the hardest time in anatomy class trying to remember the names of my fingers and toes. What constitutes a carpal? A tarsal? Meta-what?  Wait- now just what is phalange again? I had to document on a client's toe the other day, and boy was I thrown.
Your big toe has two parts: proximal phalanx and distal phalanx. A phalanx is the little straight bone that makes up the "knuckle" of your toe or finger. Only thing different about the other 4 toes is that they have 3 phalanges- still a proximal and distal, but throw a middle in there as well. Phalanges=digits. Or in your toes' cases, pigs. 

That is the traditional toe naming for you. Confusing, huh? However, this whole pointless issue is no more- thanks to a med student, that must have been high as a kite, who formally gave Latin names for every toe based on the "Little Piggy" rhyme. John Phillips, then a fourth-year med student at Yale, published these gems in a letter to the New England Journal of Medicine that was published long ago in 1991.... when I was 5. The "p." stands for "porcellus."

porcellus fori (big toe), translation: little pig at market
p. domi (second toe); translation: baby pig at home
p. carnivorus (third toe), translation: meat-eating piglet
p. nonvoratus (fourth digit) translation: small pig that has not eaten
p. plorans domum (smallest toe) translation: piggy crying all the way home

There are entirely too many names for something that most doctors will just describe as a "toe" in a History and Physical report. So, you're welcome for this edition of Semi-Useless Nursing Knowledge.


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday- My "fur"ever baby and my forever baby.

I did one of those "things I'll NEVER do" today. I entered EK in a cute baby contest. It was so hard to bring myself to do it, then I looked at other babies who are obviously not as cute as her. I had to do it. Will you please vote for her? I promise... I won't do this again. I already feel like a sell out.

If you want to help us out, just click HERE and like our photo. Thanks so much! I hope you have all had a great week. 


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Sunday, February 19, 2012


My family is made up of 3 music snobs... OK, make that 2 snobs. The girl likes anything, especially "Back That Thing Up".  Ryan and I have always had a little bond over our love for all things music. The night of our first date, I got into his truck, only to hear that he was listening to the same CD that I had going in my Jeep. I made him get out and get into my car just to prove it to him. Destiny? I think so.

A lot of times, it's like we have an ongoing competition to see who can come up with something that the other hasn't heard before. Since I had the little one, my time researching on the internet has become limited. I mainly rely on him to bring the cool stuff out, but occasionally I find a gem while listening to Pandora. Have you ever listened to the Ryan Bingham station? You totally should.

Here's a little glimpse of the songs I'm loving this week.

#1  "Lodi" cover by Jeffery Foucalt This is a cover of an old Creedence Clearwater Revival song..this guy has a pretty cool voice, and I love his version of this song. I like to imagine this song is about Lodi, TX... you would totally feel like saying "Oh Lord, I'm stuck in Lodi again", if you were there.

#2  "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" Bob Dylan cover by Miley Cyrus  OMG, yeah, Miley Cyrus. I want to dislike this song just because of her, but I can't. It's good, and she does a great job on it. Give me a female take on a Bob Dylan song any day.

"Flowers on the hillside, blooming crazy.. crickets talking back and forth in rhyme. Blue river running, slow, and lazy- I could stay with you forever and never realize the time.."

#3  "Hallelujah" by Ryan Bingham  Now we're getting somewhere. Have you heard this guy sing? He is incredible. He's only in his late twenties, but his voice sounds old and ragged, like someone dragged his throat down a gravel road. He's even better live. This song is haunting- I get chills every time I hear the guitar intro, it tells a sad story. You just need to listen to it... here.  If you ever get the full band version- turn up your bass. It's bad-ass. 

"So tell me now if you're singing can bring me another day with my feet on the ground? I miss living, and living misses me... I miss it so much that I'm holding me down..for all the things that I never could change, for all the reasons that I never understood and why- I feel alone baby, I'm dead and gone baby, there's something wrong 'cause you know, I still feel alive. My train is rolling down the line and I'm waiting- til they bring me the dream of You holding me up in your eyes..Oh feel my love honey, from up above honey- oh don't give up on me 'cause I'm coming down..I'm not a one nighter, I'm not a flat liner, I'm everything in between the harmony you're singing live... Hallelujah, something's wrong, Hallelujah, is dead and gone.. oh Hallelujah is just a song.."

#4  "Ballad of A Southern Man" by Whiskey Myers  Ever wonder why some people from the southern part of the US are the way they are?  This one tells you why... these guys are a modern day Lynard Skynard. Patriotic, Godly, and I just love it. Their new CD, Firewater, came out about a year or so ago, and it's definitely worth checking out.  

"Grandma's in the kitchen, Papa's done passed on- we sit out on the front porch, just a pickin' on a song. There's a Bible on the table 'cause He bled for what we have, I was raised in this land, but I guess that's something you don't understand"..

My Ryan and I bought this CD called Mescalito on a whim, I don't even really remember why we bought it. I remember putting it in the disc player in my old Jeep, and hearing the next song on my list...we played it over and over, and still do- 3 years later. What album do you love THAT much?

#5  "Southside of Heaven" by Ryan Bingham  The guy won a Grammy for one of my favorite movies- Crazy Heart. He wrote the signature song- The Weary Kind. Southside of Heaven is one of those songs that starts slow, keeps slow, then gets up and goes. The song has convinced me to wander the Texas desert at least once before I die.. with my harmonica. 

"Can't you see that a breeze ain't nothing but a change in pace? And money can't buy my soul, 'cause it comes from hard earned place... but on the south side of Heaven, won't you take me home? 'Cause I been gone for so long and Lord, it's gettin' cold..."

I love having these on my Ipod- it makes my commute so much more tolerable..What songs can you not stop listening to lately?  


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Saturday, February 18, 2012


If someone had asked me 6 years ago (Oh my gosh- has it been that long since I started nursing school?!) what kind of nurse I wanted to be, it would not have been home health.  Ick- what if you get assigned to a crazy cat lady? I probably would have told them Cardiac ICU... or something intense.  However, I learned quickly that I do NOT enjoy holding a dying life in my hands..thanks for NOT hiring me into ICU straight out of school, Nacogdoches Medical Center. You let me get hired at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, where I made many great friends and  felt like a part of a community, even though I was living away from home and had only a handful of acquaintances

Ryan and I lived in Center, TX for a little over a year beginning just before our wedding. I moved there in my old 200K+ miles Grand Cherokee the same day I finished my final RN exam. I worked in OB/Pedi in Nacogdoches and absolutely loved it. I mainly had postpartum moms, which was a blast considering I did not have children or plan to have them for quite some time.  Occasionally we would get some excitement and have a geri / psych on the pediatric end... never a dull moment, let me tell you. I had an absolute blast with the wound VACs, NG tubes, and fecal impactions. I was able to sit with a mom who held her premature infant as it fell asleep for the first and last time in her arms, witness the beauty (and pain) of childbirth, and I even learned a little Espanol.

Then, Ryan got transferred back home. I had to find a job, and that proved to be difficult. I ended up accepting a position with At Home Healthcare, as a case manager. I thought I was going to be working for the pediatric side, then I showed up to my first patient's home to find out he was 92 years old. Awesome. He had 3 Westies, so we made fast friends. I also had no idea that people could get home care aides, who come in to bathe and straighten up the immediate living space. Our census was so small that we didn't have an aide for my area... so I got to bathe that same little man twice a week. Like I said, we were pretty much forced to be friends. I can't count the number of "little old friends" I have made since that first day on the job.

 There has been a lot of change in my little area of home health, with the addition of several new employees and now I'm managing the Texarkana branch. The last few weeks, however, I have been able to fill in and see a lot of people. I've missed them. I can't explain how humbling it is to go into someone's home when they are at what could be their all time low.... to look into their fridge and see that all they have to eat is what Meals on Wheels has brought that day... because since their spouse died they can't prepare their own meal. It's humbling to see that some people live in motels, because no one has taken the time to help them find a place to live or assistance to pay for it. While some people may turn up their nose at and scoot past the house that is infested with bugs, I've been blessed to realize that the person living there is blind and not able to even see the bugs to know they're there. I have some of the greatest cheerleaders in my little old lady friends- they constantly give me the very best advice on anything from gardening, to cooking, to raising my sweet "Ellie" (as most of them call EK). I get to send out cards for every holiday imaginable, not to show off my family and keep up with the Jones', but to send joy to people who never get a visit other than from their nurse.

It is so rewarding to help those in need, and I can not imagine who I would be without my daily reminders of how lucky I am. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have a "job" that I love which hopefully helps others. It's so funny how the things we want least can end up the things that impact us the most.


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Ramblings.

2012 has been such a year full of blessings for me. I've put a lot of thought into how to be the person I want to be.. it doesn't include having a TON of friends, but being close to the special few I have. I want to be the best wife to my wonderful husband- he deserves it. I want to be a good mom to our little girl... babies these days have SO much to overcome in the world. I want to be intentional in the things I do with her, and mold her into a good person. I will let her be a BABY, a CHILD. It's OK- she'll grow up soon enough.

Most of all, I want everyone to feel the love that I have for them. Friends, family, patients, even my dogs... I hope they feel it. I know that I enjoy every precious moment I have with my sweet patients, and I love to be able to call them from time to time to just chat... I hope it brightens their day as much as it does mine.

Ryan and I have a special Valentine's Day tradition that we developed on accident. Right before our very first Valentine's Day, I was bathing our puppy, and got soaking wet. I casually mentioned how awesome it would be to have a detachable shower head so that I could bathe the dog without bathing myself as well. I guess he paid attention, because on February 14th, I had a brand new shiny detachable shower head. Most girls would probably be appalled at the gift- I, however, was amazed. From there, we have always stuck to a "low budget" approach- $10 or $15 limits. It is so much fun to see what one of us will pick out based on what we think will brighten the other's day. This year, I got a jar of Nutella and Ferrero Rocher candies (he even threw in an iTunes card...) I had just raved about them to my sister and mother in law the week before. What can I say? The man  just makes my heart smile.

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone. I hope that you will continue to share your love with those around you every other day of the year.


Top Mommy Blogs - Mom Blog Directory

Monday, February 13, 2012

Oops. I Forgot My Baby's Birthday Party.

Yeah, right. Like I could forget her very first ever birthday party. The little East Texas snow we had today made me remember, I did forget to put up a few pictures. :)

We had a family get together at Ryan's grandparent's house to celebrate our little bundle of crazy. We were so excited also that my family from 5 hours away got to stop in on their way home from Dallas, just in time for the party! It was so great to get to see everyone.

Since EK was born on the snowiest day I can remember, we had a "snow" themed party. I won't call it a full on "Winter ONEderland" because I really didn't do a lot to prepare/decorate. If you call spray painting a limb I found in the yard preparing, and making sure we had a cake, then I did a little.

My favorite part of the day was watching EK dig into her own special cake made with love by The Bakerman of Texarkana.  Jeremy makes the best cakes with the coolest designs, and even threw in her little cake.  I told him I wanted it to be turquoise, pink, and have a "snow" theme... and he did the rest. Thanks so much!



Oh, and speaking of snow. We had "snow" today. EK was not impressed. I guess it takes a lot of snow to excite you when you were born in a blizzard, and had 4 snows in your first month of life.

I'll be sure to post our pictures of us in UGGs and shorts tomorrow. Until next time....  :)


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Peach Salsa

One of my friends made this amazing peach salsa last summer for a meeting at work. I was hesitant at first to try it, but wow- it was nothing like what I envisioned. It was SO delicious, and she is a fantastic cook, so I thought she must have slaved over this stuff for hours on end.

Nope. It's easy. Here's the recipe:

  • 1 small can sliced peaches (drained)
  • 1 large can Rotel ( although I prefer Hatch brand... it's budget friendly)

Blend it in the blender to whatever consistency you like. Eat it with tortilla chips. I've started to add minced white onion, a little minced garlic, and occasionally cilantro if Ryan is around. I tend to add the peaches as I go, to avoid it being too sweet.

Hope you enjoy it! I've linked up with The How To Mommy for Tasty Thursday!