Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mixed blessing

I love my job.  I really do!  Besides the thousand and one reasons that I enjoy being a nurse there is one that I (usually) truly appreciate.  I appreciate having the knowledge that I do.  I remember sitting in a financial adviser's office listening to him talk blah, blah, blah about stocks and dividends.  I honestly had no idea what he was saying.  Then I thought, this is how it must feel for patients and family members in the hospital when they are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives.  Besides not being emotionally able to process some of the information, it might just sounds like "blah, blah, blah" to them.  Therefore, I appreciate that when my kids are sick or need to have surgery I can understand what is going on.

On the other hand, I have a lot of knowledge that non-healthcare workers don't necessarily have (unless they do a lot of Internet searching!).  I've seen the "one in a million" side effect with devastating consequences.  I've watched an entire team of doctors say "I don't know what to do" and "I've only read about that happening in a text book".  I've seen routine procedures that become everything but routine. 

Cadence has an ASD - a hole in the atrial wall of her heart.  We are lucky that it can  most likely be fixed through a cardiac catheterization procedure.  We are lucky that most likely she won't need to have open heart surgery which, obviously, is a much bigger, much scarier procedure to have.  Although I know the chances are slim, I also pray for the possibility that it was close on it's own. 

I am currently studying to take my CCRN exam (critical care nurse certification).  It's something that I should have done long ago.  There have been lots of excuses why I haven't taken it (kids, adoption, moving, life, my brain not in "test mode" since college!) and I am finally determined to do it.  Then I come upon this multiple choice question:

Which of the following is a risk of cardiac catheterization?
A. Vessel rupture
B. Radiation exposure
C. Renal injury and failure
D. All of the above

Nice.  Thank you Ms. Susan Wade for bringing this to the surface of my thoughts.  Doesn't dear Susan know that I like my land of denial?  That I need to face the idea of Cadence's procedure with the luxury of naivete.  I need to only feel stressed about Cadence being hungry since she can't eat before the procedure and the discomfort she might have after the procedure.  Not  "D. All of the above"!  I am not Ms. Wade's biggest fan at the moment.  I think I'm going to walk away now and find a nice warm beach to stick my head in the sand.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

More portraits!

Although not professional ones, these pictures are more recent!  My friend, Annie, bought this adorable dress for Cadence so I had to get some cute shots of her wearing it.  These last few months Cadence either does her "cheesy" smile or gets this faraway, vacant look in her eyes and refuses to look at the camera. Slightly frustrating when I'm trying to get "the" shot.  I guess I have to take what I can get!

She found something interesting to dig

Yep, the "cheese" smile!

This was an outfit from a frou-frou children's clothing store that a friend gave to Sierra when she was born.  I love it, but knowing how expensive it was, Sierra wore it once in public (to her daddy's nursing graduation) and then only for pictures.  This is why I don't buy expensive clothes for the kids!

Cue the "faraway" look

Jeez momarrazzi... can you stop already?!

A few shots with our "first child", Shiloh

This shot, though, this was worth it!

A month of Thanksgiving (all at once!)

I found out about an event called "Thanksq" on Facebook.  It stood for Thanks squared  and you were supposed to use your Instagram or Retrocam on your phone and post a picture about what you were thankful for during the month of November.  I have been excited to use the new app on my phone so it was a lot of fun!  Here they are in no particular order or degree of thankfulness!

Thankful for trees that look like they are on fire

I'm thankful for my job.  I'm amazed and humbled everyday by these kids who have made me believe in miracles. 

Thankful for beautiful moon rises

Thankful for my girl who is growing up and expressing herself

Thankful for a little girl who saves the last piece of candy for her daddy

Thankful for awesome people in my life like my hair dresser who "cuts" Cadence's hair every time we are there, just because Cadence asks!

Thankful for darling daughters daintily drinking tea

Thankful for dry, warm boots that are cute to boot

Thankful for children who delight in the small things (like winding the vacuum cord)

Thankful for my first moderately successful attempt at fondant

Thankful for spontaneous and rare alone time with my girl

Thankful for an amazing speech therapist who does whatever it takes to bring words to my girl

Thankful for early sunsets, longs shadows, and games of shadow tag til you're breathless

Thankful for birthday celebrations and Chandler's cake

Thankful for 3 of the biggest blessing in my life.  I'm one very lucky mama!

Thankful to see maternal instinct in this girl who had no mama for the first 16 months of her life

Thankful for little girls who still want to be little (despite idolizing their big sister)

Thankful for trips down memory lane

Thankful for my husband who works tirelessly for our family but can still be a kid at heart

Thankful for big holes that will create lots of fun & memories for years to come

Thankful for LAF. It's her initials... and it's what I do all of the time I'm with her!

Friday, November 25, 2011


As I said, I have some catching up to do!  These were portraits that were done October 2010!  My good friend Megan, of Oldfields Photograpy  , took photos of the girls and a couple family shots. We haven't had professional family photos in years and I really wanted some good pictures before Cadence had her surgery.  Megan, of course, delivered!

We bought these dresses in China in preparation for Chinese New Year Celebrations.

Why is it impossible for me to get such good smiles out of them?!

Don't let the smiles fool you ... there was plenty of "stern" talking during this family shot!

Megan proposed that we let them jump on the bed.  Of course the girls loved it, although I kept thinking "This is the shot where we will say '... and right after this Cadence had her arm dislocated'!"
Luckily that didn't happen, but the girls had a blast and tons of fun smiles!

I adore this one of my "big girls"

This is Cadence's wrestling stance... she's gonna take you doooowwwwn!

I love her face now, but I loved this smile first! (and miss it a little)

Laurel turns 7!

My sweet girl turned 7 years old this month!  "Sweet" really sums her up... it always has.  She has a sweet little face and sweet little voice.  Most of all, her heart is sweet.  She will refuse to eat the last piece of candy if she knows that someone hasn't gotten a bite.  She is continuously worried about the homeless and wants to give them all of her money.  If she sees that someone is upset she tries to help them or at least hug them.  She is just a sweetheart!

Laurel has also matured a lot this past year.  She really seems much more grown up.  She loves to read (like her big sis!) and is excelling in school.  She has her own mind and seems to make almost of her choices without indecision or regret.  I pray that she will carry all of these traits with her throughout her life.

Laurel decided to get her ears pierced for her birthday.  She recently watched Sierra gets her ears repierced and it was done one at a time.  Laurel was insistent (and there was no changing her mind!) that she wanted it done the same way.  As I had anticipated, with the pinch of the first ear she cried and cried.  Poor girl.  After a few minutes though, she determinedly said she wanted the second one done!  She looks so cute and is happy that she did it.

She decided to have a gymnastics birthday party and all of the kids had a ball!  I had my first attempt at making fondant decorations.  It took a few batches and many hours, but it turned out cute!  Laurel also decided to make donations to UVA Children's Hospital in lieu of birthday gifts for herself.  The families were so generous and we'll be dropping off 4 big bags of games, toys, and books to the hospital.  Besides asking for a cell phone, TV, DVD player, dog, horse, and car (really?!) for her birthday, the number one item on her list was an American Girl doll.  The grandparents came through for her and she is a happy girl! 

Before getting her ears pierced.  The after was too sad to show.

She loves Elizabeth

Hamming it up at her party

Even Cadence got to take part!

This was called "Rocket Ship"... I REALLY wanted to do it!

Sierra caught some air

Another favorite, the foam pit

And the parachute

Celebration #3 with our good friend Kelli who shares a birthday with Laurel!

Happy Birthday, Laurel