Saturday, September 13, 2003

Hope Springs Eternal

Every so often in my line of work I come across someone who makes me stop and really think about my life. One time it was the 40 something parents who were having their newborn taken away by child protective services for an undetermined amount of time because the mother had tested positive for drugs. Another it was a beautiful baby that was being given up for adoption, the mother was just a teenager who had a nasty drug habit. Then there was the couple who had been married for 19 years and told early in their marriage that they would never be able to conceive or the mom who only had one working ovary (and only 50% at that) and her husband had a very low sperm count who after 10 years of marriage were shocked and elated to have a baby girl. The baby in NICU that was born with no stomach muscles. All of these experiences have made me thankful for the healthy children I have and many times made me thankful for the life I have. Out of the hundreds and hundreds of babies I have photoed I remember these people, most everyone else is just lost in the masses of faces I see each week, but these I remember. Today I met another face I'll remember for a while - maybe even forever.

I had three people on my list who were discharges for today. I got to my last one and there was an odd sign on the door saying not to use that door. What? I tracked down the nurse who was assigned that patient for the scoop. The patient was in an isolation room and I would have to go through the isolation door so I could gown up and glove up before entering then scrub up when I leave. One of the other nurses asked why, if she had some thing infectious (this is actually not that uncommon in NICU - sometimes babies get certain bacteria and we have to gown up in addition to our gloves then wipe down the cart to not spread the bacteria to well babies). The answer was one I didn't expect. The mom has HIV. The nurses talked back and forth for a moment as I thought about that. HIV. I immediately got a picture of what kind of woman this must be. I figured the mom wouldn't want pictures, she was probably low income, had a drug problem, a sleazy type woman... What other kind of woman would be having a baby while HIV infected? When I was finally able to go into the room what I saw was vastly different than what I had pictured. She was a painfully thin African woman. She looked very tired but wanted pictures of her brand new baby and she even knew what she wanted to order. I immediately was embarrassed by how I had prejudged her just by hearing HIV. It was hard to understand her because she had a very thick accent but I got the message of when she wanted me to come back and take the pictures and that she wasn't feeling very well at the moment. When I returned mom was feeling better but very tired, the baby was in the nursery because of her exhaustion so we rescheduled for tomorrow as she was being held for an extra day until she was better. She was a very nice woman, she thanked me and called me sweetie in her musical lilting voice when I left. I was touched by her optimism despite her HIV status. I don't know if I would be quite so optimistic in the same situation, I might be very resentful to know that I would probably not live to see my child become an adult or guilt and fear that I may have passed along the virus to my infant while in utero. She had none of that. She had hope. My heart aches for her situation, yet her optimism was contagious and I couldn't help feel her hope also. My life was put in perspective in those 5 minutes.

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Recapturing My Inner 6 Year Old

Today it's raining, pouring really. The little people were about to pop at the seams, they wanted to go outside! So... I let them. Out we went in the pouring rain. We ran up and down the sidewalk laughing until we were all soaked to the bone. The little people loved it. It was cleansing for me. It only lasted 5 or so minutes - that rain was cold! Then back inside, change to dry clothes and time for lunch. And of course the little people want to go back out now. ;o)
September 11, 2001

I hadn't intended to write anything about 9/11 - I remembered it just hadn't intended to write about it. I guess I figured there were enough news articles and memorials going on today that I didn't need to do so. I was just checking the blogs I usually read - on one persons blog she was whining as usual and I had made up my mind I was going to write about how whining selfish people bug the shit out of me, then I went to my last blog on my list. Posted were pictures from 9/11, pictures of the rescue workers and wreckage, of memorials and big strong men crying and praying. I forgot how painful it was to see those images. It seemed that the world stood still for a while after 9/11. Terrorism became a household word. Images of terrorist became a normal occurrence on the news. Fear and hurt was behind everyone's eyes.

This is my memories of September 11, 2001.

It was my first day of work. Hubby and I were driving the little people over to my aunt for her to watch them while I worked. 5 or so minutes before we got to her house we heard a report on the radio that a plane had crashed into the WTC. At first we thought it was a joke, then we realized it wasn't. I thought maybe it was a small single engine plane that someone had crashed, not a huge 747. When we got to my aunt's house we asked her if she was watching the news, she stated she wasn't and we told her to turn it on now, someone crashed a plane into the WTC. '"Oh my God..." was all we could mutter as the television lit up showing footage of the plane crashing into the WTC, then the footage of the second plane smashing into the other tower in a ball of fire. I was baffled, I could not fathom how this could happen. Two passenger jets crashed into the towers, that had to be some kind of horrible mistake. I didn't even think of terrorism. We had to leave so hubby could get to work on time. On the way to his work we listened in utter shock and disbelief to the radio report the events. When I got to work for my first day of training Tami was waiting for me, she went through my training and we talked about what happened. In each room we went the television was showing coverage of the attack. New Moms were focused on this instead of the little blessings they were holding in their arms. The nurses had turned on a television in one of the empty rooms and they were all huddled in there watching the footage. We joined the nurses to watch and watched as the first tower collapsed then the second. I was too shocked to cry. Still hoping it was some sick joke.

When I left work and got to my aunt's house to get the little people she suggested I call hubby because buildings were being closed down. They closed his building. He came home early. I learned of the other two planes, the one that hit the Pentagon and the one in Pennsylvania and felt a horrible sick feeling in my stomach. My aunt is a Col. in the army and she had just left her term at the Pentagon just a few weeks prior. A dear friend of mine lives in Pennsylvania and I didn't know how close the crash was to him. Later that evening I spoke to him, he told me how he had stood on his front porch and could see the thick black smoke from the crash, he was less than 5 miles from the crash. I was relieved he and his family were unharmed.

We sat on the sofa and watched the footage. I remember nursing my 6 week old infant as the politicians sang America the Beautiful. I cried, we all cried. We watched the footage late into the night not sure if another horrible terrorist attack was going to happen as we slept.

And the next day... The sun came up, we went to work and life went on, not the same but we were still alive and we were all thankful for that.

In the days since 9/11 much has happened. The world has changed a lot and yet it's stayed the same in a lot of ways. The coverage of the incident got to be over done, the attack somersaulting, people became jaded. I did. I haven't even turned the television on to a news program today, didn't even think of it. I didn't want to watch yet another insincere memorial service. Yet the pictures made me think and made me weep. No words, just pictures from the event 2 years ago. Just a reminder that terror can strike us too.

Yesterday my friend Anat who lives in Israel sent a note. The most recent suicide bombings happened very near her. One person killed at the cafe' was the daughter of a childhood friend of hers. A father and daughter were two people killed at the hospital. He was a Dr. there and she was to be married the next day. This was the only time for father and daughter to have some time together before she wed. Now all the guests who had come to see a wedding would be attending a double funeral instead. Very sad.

We are lucky terror attacks are fairly rare in this country. Anat lives in constant fear for her and her family. I don't know if this 'war on terrorism' is a winnable war.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

My inner child is six years old today

My inner child is six years old!

Look what I can do! I can walk, I can run, I can
read! I like to do stuff, and there's a whole
big world out there to do it in. Just so long
as I can take my blankie and my Mommy and my
three best friends with me, of course.

How Old is Your Inner Child?
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Riyo - "Logical Change"
People of your personality type should visit:

What would your Japanese name be? (female)
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Obviously I have nothing today... so stupid quiz day it is!

Strange Thoughts

Today an insurance agent I met with last week called to follow up with me. When he was here last week I kept thinking that visually he kind of reminded me of one of my old Sanchos. One that was particularly hot but was a jerk and wasn't all that good in bed. That amused me somewhat and distracted me as he was explaining the plan to me. Today when he called I was caught off guard by who he reminded me of. Bret one of my OTHER sanchos. The one who's wife would NOT stop e-mailing me. Very weird. Again I found it amusing and distracting. I started listening to his voice to hear how similar it was to Bret's and wasn't listening to what he was saying. Thankfully it was bed time for the little people and they were putting on a rather noisy protest so I had to get off the phone before I had to start asking him to repeat himself. It was odd and got me thinking about how I don't have a Sancho or a boyfriend and I haven't seen anyone in about 3 months. I haven't really given a crap about seeing anyone either. Who knows, maybe that will change. I got a message from someone I had forgotten about - we went out once and talked about it again but never could get the schedule right. Actually the past 3 weeks I've had 3 different people I dated contact me to find out if I'm free. Why am I putting all these men off? Why am I so ambivalent about them wanting to hook up? Am I crazy? Depressed? eh... Who knows.. I'm probably just profoundly bored.

Off to bed now.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

I Have Other Things I Should Be Doing...

But I'm not. Just a quick note to clear my brain. The morning has been crazier than I had anticipated.

I forgot that the exterminator would be by today to treat for bugs (which is a good thing because I can't seem to get rid of the ants), hubby didn't do the dishes last night or this morning so I had to do them this morning. Super Girl got upset with me for giving them peanut butter sandwiches instead of waffles - Sorry kiddo mommy has to do dishes and doesn't want to make MORE of a mess. I frantically loaded the dishwasher, scrubbed the counters, swept the floor and took out the garbage as I have no clue when the pest man will be by. Cabbage Patch was pissed when she realized there was MILK in her sippy cup instead of Kool-aid and the cats are eyeing the fish tank hungrily - yes they are out of food again. *sigh* Why don't I have the willing lottery ticket???????

Anyway - the crisis' have abated now. Super Girl got past her pissyness and is watching Cinderella - after a sincere promise from mom to make waffles for lunch, Cabbage Patch is happy and so are the cats - I gave the milk to the cats and Kool-aid to the kid.


Last night after dinner we went for a much needed walk. Off to the park (which is by the lake) for the kids to burn off some excess energy then a walk around the park. It was dark by the time we were walking around the lake and something got a group of ducks to quacking on the other side of the lake. Just moments before this happened I had told Super Girl that a group of ducks that we were passing were sleeping. Super Girl started yelling at the ducks "Quiet! Hush Quackers! You'll wake the city!" And of course Cabbage Patch had to join in. Quack!

Off to make my Livingroom Dazzle!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Carrot Cake Ramblings

I was looking on a recipe sight I frequent for some recipes and for some reason I thought about carrot cake, specifically the carrot cake my mother used to make. She had a favorite recipe that she used and she would make the cake very infrequently - always stating that it was complicated to make, yadda, yadda, yadda. In the years since my childhood I have come to understand two things, 1) that she was full of shit about it being hard, it's just a cake, it's not like she had to grind the wheat into flour to make the cake and 2) that her carrot cake wasn't all that good. Her husband LOVED the cake, but for some reason she didn't make it for him very often - maybe once a year (and not even for his birthday!) - that I don't understand... maybe she didn't like him nearly as much as she claimed to... eh... back to the cake... My sister hated this cake. It wasn't my favorite thing for her to make... actually.... nothing she cooked was my favorite, that's why I started doing all the cooking when I started high school. I was looking through all the recipes and noticed that a lot of them had pineapple in them, mom never put that in her cake – I guess her asshat husband didn't like it that way... who knows, maybe she was to lazy to open a can of pineapple. I also noticed a few other things in most carrot cakes that mom didn't have in hers, and I thought "hmmmm... no wonder her's sucked." Carrot cake isn't one of my favorite cakes, I don't mind it, but I generally avoid it unless I am the one who makes it. Why? Because most carrot cakes have raisins in them and I consider cooked raisins to be vile and disgusting. Anyway... thinking about the carrot cake and the raisins reminded me of something... and this is one for the TACKY WEDDING category.

A long time ago, an acquaintance of mine got knocked up and decided to marry the looser sperm donor. I got the honor of being her maid of honor at her slapped together justice of the peace wedding. The reception was held in the upper room of a local Chinese restaurant (the food kicked ass) and the wedding cake was a three layer carrot cake with yellow frosting that had raisins in it! That gave the cake the putrid appearance of having large bugs caught in the frosting. I still giggle when I think of that.