Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blast from the Past

April 16, 1999
(excerpts from my journal entry, from back in the day when I kept a journal)

"I kind of wish I could just go to sleep and this would all be over... While I'm wishing, I might as well wish the really impossible: I wish I knew what the next ten years would hold for me either way... or, that I could turn the clock back just a year. People who are really wise and think things through always say they wouldn't go back, wouldn't change the past if they could..."

Ten years later: I had no clue. NO clue what the next ten years would hold. (Probably a good thing. I get fatigued just thinking about it now. I'd have probably opted for something less... exhausting.) I went to Honduras, spent more time in Mexico, helped my parents move from Pennsylvania to Texas, lived in Dallas for a while, then moved to Tyler to start nursing school. Near the end of nursing school, I met Matt. After graduation, I worked in L&D, joined the Navy as a reserve officer, bought a house, married, had beautiful children, kept going to nursing school, and finally finished a Master's. Yesterday, I passed my certification exam, and am DONE with school, at least for now. Still happily married to Matt and still happy in nursing.

I would have been shocked then to see things turn out like they are now. Incidentally, that journal only had two pages written in it. I cut them out, and the journal's much better for it. And no, I would never, ever turn the clock back (if I could) knowing what I know now about myself and life and love.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Not Much Going on Here...

I've been unmotivated to post for a while; may be finishing school and the general feeling of relief has something to do with it. I've started knitting a pair of socks (below), am still working on a sweater from last year (I knew it was a good idea to start early!) and reading some light fiction.

I'm also wasting a bunch of resume paper by printing maps on it, because I invariably forget to switch out the paper after printing an extra copy of the resume (just in case!) before printing out the map on the way to an interview. Maybe if I did these things in advance, I wouldn't have this problem. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Few More Happy Words

I'm loving the fact that Ethan demonstrates advanced verbal skills, but in an amazing stroke of irony, I also love the fact that he pronounces some words like a two-year-old:

canaloper = can opener

gunder = thunder

blana = banana

shrubble = shovel

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Happier Post

My last post was a little cynical, even for me. Here are some things (little and big) that I'm currently happy about:

I finally remembered to use my last 42 cent stamp (and had a matching stamp to go with it).

Ethan sleeps on a little mini pillow that was Matt's as a child.

I've got a meal plan for the week, and a very short grocery list.

Matt's dad came and cut up the limb that fell on our house, determined there was no roof damage, and also got all the little branches off the roof. Also, it's rained twice with no leaks that I can tell.

I got my first job offer.

I'm within three weeks of BEING DONE WITH SCHOOL for a very long time.

I got my orders put in for annual training.

Matt bought a huge bag of peanut M&M's the last time he went to the store.

Who could ask for anything more?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spicy Tortilla Soup

This is a super-easy soup recipe. It's a variation on ten-can soup that I found online, but I changed it so drastically that I had to type it up immediately so I wouldn't forget.

1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 can chicken broth
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can corn, drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 large can chicken, drained
1 small can chopped green chiles

6 corn tortillas
oil for frying
avocado slices
grated cheddar cheese
sour cream

Pour all cans into a large saucepan, stir and heat. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan. Slice the corn tortillas into long thin strips. Fry until crisp. Drain, and set aside.

Garnish the soup with the tortilla strips, avocado slices, sour cream and/or grated cheese. Be careful! It is spicy. Serves 6.

Please note I didn't say "super-healthy". To make it more heart-friendly (only nurses use terms like that on blogs), substitute low-sodium soup, homemade chicken broth, chopped cooked chicken breast, cooked dried pintos and black beans, and fresh corn. Cut the cheese and sour cream, and skip the step where it says to cut and fry the tortillas. Serve with warm (whole) tortillas, and enjoy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Does This Lab Jacket Make My Butt Look Fat?

A quick update on what I'm doing lately: finishing school requires a 360-hour practicum. This means long work weeks doing 9-10 hour days. I've worked with Ellen, ANP, Shana, CPNP-PC/AC, Dr. English and Dr. King. I've enjoyed the experience a lot, and it's challenging as well. A definite highlight: the patient who was taking her sister's amitriptyline (an antidepressant) for her high blood pressure, and it was working wonderfully! Her blood pressure had never been better!

I'd appreciate prayer for the job search, and for the record, I'm pretty sure the lab jacket does make my butt look fat, but it's a security blanket sort of thing, and it's got great pockets, so I'll keep wearing it. Also, I have decided that the whole experience would be better if I could get my hands on some amitriptyline as well, so if you have any you don't want, send it my way. ;)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Bookstore Bliss

I just did something I never do. I bought a brand new book at the bookstore. Other than textbooks, I can't remember the last time I paid full price for a book. I did not go home to see if I could get it cheaper on Amazon. I didn't look on e-Bay. I didn't wait for it to go on sale, did not pass Go, and did not collect $100. And you know what? I couldn't be happier about it. I would have paid $30 for that book, and when I got to the cash register with my exciting splurge, it was way less. On sale, and I didn't even know it. I love you, B&N.

In other exciting bookstore news, while I was there (out without the kiddos), I managed to find an empty armchair, and read this book

almost all the way through. It helps that the print is about 36 points... like you could read it from across the room if necessary. It was an excellent book, the sort of thing that new parenting classes should include, because taking beautiful pictures of your children is just as rewarding as... I don't know... having a clean living room, and much easier. When you have kids, that is.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Babywearing Project

I recently made a Moby-wrap style baby carrier, although, "made" might be stretching it a bit. I've wanted to try one of these for a while, so found some online instructions. Turns out, this is a piece of knit fabric, 20" by 5'. That's it. I cut five feet of fabric. No hemming or anything. The trick was learning to wrap it. Incidentally, the fabric piece I bought would make two more, so if you want one, comment or e-mail, and I will send you one (to the first two commenters only). :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Reading Material for Nursing Moms

During my last postpartum period (which is a nice medical euphemism for "the emotional roller coaster of psychotic sleep deprivation mixed with incredible joy"), I occasionally wrote posts on what I was reading at the time. Currently I'm reading

The Christmas Sweaterby Glenn Beck
The Wall Street Journal
World Magazine
and I'm about to start
Scarpettaby Patricia Cornwell

I was thinking today about one of the books I read while nursing two years ago. It was a book intended, I think, to be hip and trendy and "insightful" all at once. Unfortunately, this is the sort of intention that often fails. In any case, it was set in New York City; I remembered one character who was cheating on his wife when the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened. In that moment of clarity (or horror, or whatever the author was getting at), the man left his mistress alone in her apartment and headed home to his wife, the point being that in moments of clarity (or horror), we act out our true character. I didn't think much about it at the time, but it occurred to me today that the author got it wrong. We act out our true character every day, on a daily basis, doing the mundane and not-so-mundane things we do. It is a nice fiction, appropriate for movies and chick lit, that in moments of horror, who we really are will somehow be better than who we really have been.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Noah's Birth

Ethan's delivery a little over two years ago was a scheduled induction during the 39th week of my pregnancy. It went so well... Matt and I went out to an early breakfast (because I don't believe in being NPO for too long, and I didn't want to be hungry all day), then showed up at the hospital. I had done all the paperwork beforehand, and things got started around seven in the morning. Ethan was born at 4:18, after two doses of pain medication and 40 minutes of pushing. It went so smoothly. Cathy, my labor nurse, likes to say it was her expert titration of pitocin during the induction; I think it was just good timing overall.

Because we had had such a great experience in the past, I asked Dr. Lieb to schedule an induction in the 39th week again. I made plans to finish up papers and do some cooking beforehand, and left that entire week free. However, little Noah had other plans. The night I went into labor, Matt was at work, and Ethan was sound asleep, so I stayed up late working on baby announcements and watching TV. At midnight, as soon as I decided to go to bed, I started having uncomfortable contractions. I tried to sleep, but woke up at 2 am, still contracting. I tried sitting in a nice warm bath (which, contrary to what a lot of water birth proponents say, became a lot less nice when I had my first contraction in the water), took some Tylenol pm, straightened the house a little, and finished packing my bag. By the time 4 rolled around, I was still contracting, and wanted to go to the hospital to be checked. I called Matt. He said he probably couldn't get anyone up to take his place until about 6... could I wait a couple of hours? I thought so. Then I had another contraction. I called Mom, who got to the house in about 20 minutes. By the time she got to the house, I was thinking I might really truly be in labor, and after a couple of minutes of uncertainty, we packed Ethan up and headed to the hospital. The determining factor was that I realized sitting there that I was starting to feel a lot like I had at the end of labor last time. We called Matt on the way to the hospital.

Mom dropped me off at the door, and I walked straight up to the L&D desk. I said something like, "I think I'm in labor, and I'd better be 7 centimeters. If not, I want an epidural NOW." Suzanne was there; she tells me I had a look on my face that made her believe 7 cm. was a lot more likely than, say, 3-4. They put me straight in a room (the same one I was in with Ethan), and checked me (7 centimeters!). At this point, Suz asked if I had made arrangements with Dr. Lieb to come in. I asked who was on call... a fine doctor, but not one I really, really wanted at my delivery. I told Suzanne I'd rather she delivered the baby, and besides, he took so long to get into his astronaut gear and drape, that he'd never make it. Meanwhile, Angela O. started opening a delivery table, Kelly put in an IV, Suz called the MD, and gave me some Demerol and Phenergan (I believe I asked for 50 of Demerol, but she gave me a total of 25mg, in two divided doses). I rolled over to my side for a contraction or two, felt the Demerol start to work, then had to push. My water broke somewhere around this time. I pushed for another two contractions (Dr. Astronaut never would have made it!), and had Noah. Matt made it to the hospital at 5. Noah was born at 5:10. I had been at the hospital since 4:40. All in all, it was a wonderful night. Birth is so much better in retrospect, but I had been dreading labor a little, and it really was much better than I thought it would be.

Noah had the cord wrapped tightly around his neck, but was born too fast for it to be cut. He ended up with a lot of facial bruising and blood-shot eyes. The bruising wore off after a day or two, but his eyes are still a little red. Suzanne delivered the placenta, too, so by the time the MD got there, he didn't have much to do other than check for clots and tearing (none... Good job, Suzanne!) and inform me that next time, I should get checked sooner. Right. Note to self...
Later, Dr. Lieb told me that with her second, she arrived at the hospital completely dilated, and delivered within a minute of arrival. I bet her doctor wasn't there, either. Mom and Ethan came back up to the room around the time they were getting everything cleaned up, so Ethan got to see him right away.

Noah James Morrison weighed 8 lbs. 11 oz., and was 20 inches long. He's been quite a sweetie, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Now that he is in a big bed, Ethan often gets up during nap time. Today, he apparently preferred the wagon.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ethan Helps Get Ready for Baby

After I took Ethan's cozy blankies and pillow out of "baby Noah's bed," I discovered he had also stuffed my lab jacket in there. Appropriate, as Noah and I have been wearing the lab jacket a lot lately.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Why Matt and I Watch TV Together

Watching TV together enables us to have meaningful conversations like this one:

Me: "You know what I think?"

Matt (half-asleep in bed): "What?"

Me: "I think Kate left Aaron with his real grandmother, and she just loved him so much that she was upset and defensive when Jack asked her about it. They just tried to make it look all suspenseful."

Matt: "Yeah. You're probably right; it's probably something simple like that."

Otherwise, we would have to talk about real things like the economy, what (and how) I am doing in school, which car needs an oil change, funny things Ethan said, where the stamps are, our budget, or what we are having for dinner.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Ethan Keeps Busy

while Mommy takes a shower. Why is it that he went straight for the mascara?

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Pregnant Belly (or, Noah Unseen)

Ethan is convinced the baby is hiding somewhere just under my clothes.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Giveaway Mania, Part 2 (The Fun Part!)

For anyone who wants to join the frenzy (and I will say, this is entertaining for me... I'd rather do this than watch TV), you can enter some of the great giveaways at Bloggy They are having a carnival this week... some 1,000 giveaways to enter all in one week. These are my favorites so far: Red Laptop Tote at Musings of a Housewife
$100 Visa Gift Card at Unexpected Bliss
$50 Victoria's Secret Gift Card at A Family Completed
$100 Amazon Gift Card at Miss Musing - just for letting her know what your favorite book is. How hard is that? If you win, you could have more favorite books. :)

Giveaway Mania

I like giveaways. Matt's not exactly sure why. I know people doing giveaways are advertising, and I'm okay with that. Really. I'm inundated with advertising every day... I might as well have something enjoyable out of it. As a matter of mere coincidence (and maybe the fact that I enter several giveaways per week), I won two sweet prizes in the past week. The first was from Maricel at Mhay Cards for her Blog's 1st Anniversary:

and the second was Mr. Beardsley from Intimidnation at Cafe Handmade; Ethan really likes him:

Photos from the Birthday Party Bash!

I might have overdone it for a 2-year old's party... we actually had two. I am certainly not doing three next year. We had Ethan's friends over on Saturday am, and our family and a couple of friends over Sunday night (this was a felicitous mistake on my part as I sent Leah and Tali the wrong invitation: just one good reason why pregnant women should not try to plan two parties at once). Photos are on Picasa. :)

Ethan's 2nd Birthday

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Total Copy Cat

Okay, I have been studying all day, so I am tired and don't really have anything to say. I have to admit it: I am totally stealing this idea from my friend Lisa's blog Blessed with Grace; she got it from somewhere else. But it is so fun! I put in my own names. Feel free to send me yours. :)

To find your ROCK STAR NAME take your first pet & current car:
Dinky Volvo (not an impressive start, but the Dinky Volvo below is pretty cute!)

To find your GANGSTA NAME take your favorite ice cream flavor and your favorite cookie:
Coffee Chocolate Chip

YOUR DETECTIVE NAME? Your favorite color and favorite animal:
Green Kitty

Everybody wants a SOAP OPERA NAME, so take your middle name and the city where you were born:
Karen Tucson

Want to know your SUPERHERO NAME? Just add the word "The" plus your 2nd favorite color, and your favorite drink:
The Blue Margarita

Your NASCAR NAME. Take the first names of your grandfathers:
Pedro Calvin

If I ever go into WITNESS PROTECTION you can find me with this name. Your mother’s & father’s middle names:
N.M.N. Lee

TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME? Just take your 5th grade teacher’s last name and add a major city that starts with the same letter:
Um, I have no idea. But here's an idea: Sawyer San Diego

Of course, if you find me in witness protection I will assume it was because you were using your SPY NAME. Add your favorite season/holiday to your flower:
Autumn Columbine
This is my absolute favorite. If you every see a book written by that author, it might be me. :)

Tell your kids their CARTOON NAME by taking your favorite fruit, an article of clothing you’re wearing right now, now add "ie" or "y":
Mango Cordsy

And lastly, your ROCKSTAR TOUR is heading across the's called ("The” + Your fave hobby/craft, your fave weather element + the word “Tour”):
The Knitting Lighting Tour

Friday, January 9, 2009

Let's Meet as Usually

Every so often, I clean out my e-mail spam box. Google does a really good job for the most part, but when I once actually won something in an online drawing I had entered, the message must have said something like, "Congratulations! You have won an online drawing!" because it went straight into the spam. So, from time to time, I peruse the spam box, just to be sure there's not anything legitimate in there.

To be honest, I really don't know why these people bother... aside from the usual male performance-enhancing nonsense, my spam messages contained subject lines that are so straight from some fantasy land, I'm not sure anyone would click on them. Subjects range from the innocuous "You have been approved for MBA" and "Now you can feel good about yourself no matter your wage" (or is it supposed to be age?), to the unlikely "$10,000 in free money!" (I should have never signed up for those online scholarship searches) to the very unlikely "Even your house is paid off," and the just plain ludicrous "Your watch will obey you like a good child." Really, I'm tempted to click, just to find out which knock-off watch is supposed to obey me like a good child, and to find out what culture the person who wrote the subject line came from. Do people in Hong Kong, for instance, prize obedient watches? Do they prize good children? Do they actually have good obedient children? Was something lost in the translation?

The only thing that keeps me from clicking on the spam is the fear of having to glance through more subject lines like, "I'm in trouble! Where are you?" or worse, "Cheap Offer: 10V!agra+10Cializ=$69.95, Combo Pack for your 1st trial! jco mh."

(note: all actual subject lines from my very own spam.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

White Parenting

I had a moment today. I'd been looking for a good list of microbreweries in the US, and got on, and found a funny article by an Asian/African-American girl about a satirical blog called Stuff White People Like. Her point was that she liked most of those things, too. She talked about Stuff Mixed People Like, and I could relate a little. So, I went to the blog to see what white people like, and I had my moment. On the first page of this blog, there was a container of sea salt. It appears white people like sea salt. Matt & I have that sea salt in our pantry. Not just any sea salt. THAT EXACT SAME sea salt. I couldn't stop laughing. I understood how the Time author felt. I guess it means I'm white. Or a snob. Or something.

In the same vein, I offer my top 10 list of Stuff White Parents Like:

#10. Bumbo seats
#9. Gymboree
#8. Making homemade baby food; better if it's organic
#7. Baby monitors
#6. Bugaboo strollers
#5. etsy
#4. Anything organic cotton, including breast pads
#3. Wooden toys
#2. Designer nurseries
#1. Cloth diapers

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Instructables

I've been called off at work a couple of days recently, so I had some time at home I wasn't expecting. In addition to undecorating, doing laundry, playing with Ethan, watching my items for sale on e-Bay, buying other items on e-Bay, grocery shopping, and crafting, I wrote some Instructables.

Two of them were featured on the main page at, and I entered two in their Holiday Gifts contest. Feel free to take a look at the projects, and especially, feel free to vote for my holiday gifts. The prize is a Dremel drill set Matt and I would love to have. We might even fight over it. :)

Make Designer-Style Baby Blocks

How to Make a Grandparents' Calendar & Scrapbook (even if you don't know how to scrapbook)

How to Make Maternity Jeans Using Regular Jeans and a T-shirt

Tummy Time Baby Quilt

Friday, January 2, 2009

Upcycled Maternity Jeans

It's difficult to go through life with both a love for shopping and a hatred of spending money. I could chalk up my latest project to a great New Year's resolution to save money, but that's not the case. I'm tight with money anyway, so rather than buy new maternity jeans, I stared at maternity jeans on for hours, put them in my shopping cart, took them out of the cart, put them back in, almost checked out, then closed the browser, raided my Goodwill stash (sorry, Goodwill shoppers) and made a pair of maternity jeans from regular jeans and a t-shirt.

Here's a link to my Instructable ( is one of my favorite sites) and a picture of my 27-week belly (above). Note the drastic difference between that belly and my little, tiny, itty-bitty 25-week belly during my first pregnancy (below). As I recall, several people hinted that it wasn't really a "belly" at all.