Tuesday, September 27, 2011

15 Random (or not) Things About Me

My brain is not quite working well this morning, but I wanted to blog, so I thought I'd just make a fabulous list of random things about me. Some you may have known, but maybe not.

  1. I recently quit my job (to finish my school). I worked there for over 11 years. Before that, the longest I'd worked anywhere was probably 4 months (no lie).
  2. I'm adjunct faculty for a college of nursing (well, not just ANY, but THE University of Oklahoma). I've also taught for Oklahoma City University. I've done OB, peds, and now, med/surg clinicals. It's fun & I love watching the students grow. This semester is my first 7-3 clinical...we'll see how this not-a-morning person handles it!
  3. I love to read books. I just haven't had any time with school (and pinterest).
  4. I wanted, and seriously considered, becoming a vegetarian. Once I watched Food, Inc. I knew there was a better way to eat meat. I've never considered it since watching that movie. 
  5. There's very few foods I don't like. I hate black licorice & water chestnuts. I'm not big on weird food either. I don't eat raw sushi (although I have, I just don't like the texture). But, I will pick water chestnuts out of food. Water chestnuts are like styrofoam, they're just fillers. 
  6. Until last week I thought I didn't like nuts in my food. I had a dish at Pei Wei with peanuts (did not know they were in there) and LOVED it. Hmmm...still don't like water chestnuts though. 
  7. I was in a sorority in college. And I loved it. 
  8. I don't buy Nestle products. And Nestle owns just about everything. The hardest thing for me is Hot Pockets (my husband LOVES Hot Pockets, and yes, Nestle owns that brand) and San Pellegrino water (my daughter LOVES "fuzzy" water, and yes, Nestly owns that brand too). Shopping for Easter candy is not fun, but it can be done. Oh, and Nestle owns Coffee Mate. I could do a whole post over Nestle (maybe I will). Talk about the "big guy."
  9. My favorite pizza is ham & pineapple, but no one else in my family like it. So sad.
  10. The hardest thing I ever did was quit my job as a manager. But, it was also the best thing I ever did. Crazy how that works out, hunh?
  11. I love roller coasters. 
  12. I love all adventure rides. My husband & I rode the ejection seat on top of the Stratosphere. I'm glad I did it. BUT I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN! :) We've also ridden the roller coaster at the Stratosphere (those were the only two rides open there when we went) & the roller coaster at New York New York (no big deal). I'll ride just about any ride.
  13. Except ferris wheels. I hate them. I loathe them. Now, if they went really fast, I'd ride them. 
  14. I'm obsessed with iced coffee. Thanks Pioneer Woman.
  15. I love the mountains and the water. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Medela Pump-in-Style vs. Hygeia EnJoye

So, I've been having some pumping supply issues lately. When my father-in-law passed away, I knew I might have some supply issues. They didn't show up for nearly 3 weeks. I've now been dealing with them for about 2 weeks. I won (from Medela) a Pump-In-Style when my daughter was only a month or so old (I really don't remember, but it was very early on). I was in a video Medela produced about lactation consults. And yes, they gave me the pump. So, there it is. But, I was NOT paid my Medela to say what I'm about to say. I digress.

I've heard wonderful, wonderful things about Hygeia. I knew with over 16 months (probably closer to 17 months) use on my ole' Medela PIS, I might need to break down & buy a new one. I pumped with my DD for 15 months (so, about 14 months use with her) & I started pumping with DS when he was 1 month old, to get a freezer stash (so about 3 months with him).

And, I had flexible spending account money burning a hole in my pocket. I had to use it quickly. I bought the EnJoye. I just wanted to compare them for you all.

Medela Pump-In-Style Pros
The pump parts (flanges, etc) come apart. This makes for easier cleaning. It's easy to find Medela products. I don't have to get online to buy products. I never broke anything using it (I broke a filter adapter thingy on the Hygeia pump the first time I used it). There's no deciding how fast to go. It really is simple for first-time moms (and us second-timers too!). When you buy bottles, they come 4 to a pack. Three (like Hygeia sells) is not incredibly convenient.

Hygeia EnJoye Pros
Feels like a mom & pop company (I'm not sure if it is, but, it just feels more personal). The standard flange size is 27mm (Medela's is 24). The pump is chargeable. You can charge it & then it runs on battery power (which makes this pump very portable...I've already used it in the car & I've walked around the house with it). You can control speed & strength. I'm discovering I actually get more milk when I use a faster speed the entire time. You can record your baby (not sure if I really like this...as I have hit the play button a couple of times...you hear a baby crying...and I've done it in public!!). It's a "green" pump. You can send it in to be recycled when you're done. Or, because it is designed for more than one user, you can sell it to someone when you're done. I already have someone who's asked to buy mine when I'm done. It seems a little bit lighter. Hygeia follows the WHO code about human milk.

About Both
They're both loud. They both come with a cute bag & a freezer bag. It sucks to pump. Really. I just wish I could get as much milk pumping as I know my baby gets. He's much more efficient than any pump will ever be! Here are links to BOTH websites: Hygeia & Medela.

The bad thing is, buy a pump is a huge investment. It will save you money. It is a hard decision. Please read about the companies.

Happy Pumping People!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August Sucked

For so many reasons, I'm so glad it's September.  For one, August just plain sucked.  Yes, good things happened in August.  We celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday.  Addison started school.  And loved it.  My husband rode his first "century" (that's a 100 mile bicycle ride).  But, Oklahoma also "celebrated" it's 50th day of being over 100 degrees this summer.  And, worst of all, we lost my father-in-law.

On August 18, my husband called, frantically, asking if I was dressed.  I thought someone was coming over.  So, I said yes (and of course, I was dressed).  He said they were taking his dad to the hospital.  The chaplain called.  Well, if you know anything about healthcare & hospitals,  you know chaplains don't call just to shoot the breeze.  They don't call when someone comes in for a broken limb or something minor.  They call when something bad has happened.

I frantically got dressed (in more hospital-appropriate clothing), brushed my teeth, & thanked God my hair was long enough for a pony tail.  And I was off.  When I arrived, I found my husband sitting outside.  They wouldn't let anyone back until the entire family was there.  That's just about the hardes thing to have to deal with.  

I'll spare you the emotional details, but we were all there (minus my sister-in-law) when my very brave & strong mother-in-law forced the chaplain to quit the bullshit & tell us what happened.  I think we already knew.

As a nurse who works in a hospital, I often wondered what it felt like for families to leave the hospital after learning of a loved ones death.  The hospital I work in happens to be a children's hospital primarily (for the past few years) with women's services.  I see families walking around all the time.  It may sound gory, but I always wondered if they had just lost someone.  I thought how horrible it must be to just walk out of the hospital all alone, to go on your way, to grieve on your own, to not have a nurse or a doctor their to tell you what's going to happen next.  How horrible is that.  You're on your own.  And, your loved one is not walking out those doors with you.  

Unfortunately, I learned that day, exactly what it feels like.  Now, I realize it must be different for parents.  It must be different for people who walked in with the person they are leaving behind.  But, I still know what it feels like to walk out without the complete family.  It's sad.  It's lonely.  There's a lot of feeling like...what now.  And yet, a million things going through your mind about stuff you have to do.

Later that day, we all met at my in-laws.  This is the part where I'm going to get all "I love God & Jesus" on you...so you can quit reading if you don't want to hear it.  But, I highly suggest, if you've made it this far, keep reading.  This really is the best part of the story.

People were already there.  People were bring food.  Comforting us.  Caring for us.  Crying with us.  Praying for us.  Being there for us.  It was simply amazing.

Over the next few days, we all, slowly, realized how God was watching over us.  Not just that day or that week.  But, forever.  Some things had happened in the months prior to make the transition to life without Scottie (that's my awesome father-in-law) a smidge bit easier.  And even now, in the weeks after, things are happening that make me KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, God is watching over us.  Things are good.  That's another thing.  I always ALWAYS wondered how people who had gone through a horrible loss could say God is good.  How?  How could they?  But, you know, God is good.  God placed people in our lives to make this easier.  God placed us where we were in our careers (all of us) to make this easier.  It's nearly overwhelming to think of that.  I have more faith now than I ever have.  

Well, I've told you a lot about how we felt and what we did, but I think I should share a little about Scottie.  He was stubborn as I'll get out (and I can totally see this in my husband & daughter, so I have a feeling I'll get to see his spirit live for a very very long time).  It was his way or the highway (well, not always, and he usually was right).  But, if he said he was going to do something, by golly he was.  He was so caring & helpful.  While my sister-in-law & I never had to participate in the "man school" of growing up, Scottie let us be girls.  He was raising organic, free-range chickens.  Now, Liz & I love to eat organic.  And we also refused (in a very nice, polite way) to kill the chickens.  Scottie never questioned us.  He may have given us a hard time, but when it came right down to it, we didn't have to kill any birds.  He even killed them humanely (now is not the time to debate humane killing, but it was the most humane way to kill chickens, and these were some stinkin' happy chickens) for me.  Scottie was instrumental in making sure our kids knew what it felt like to have fun outside.  Just this summer he picked Addison up one morning just to take her to pick peaches.  They had dirt piles for the kids to play in.  

There really wasn't much Scottie wouldn't do for someone.  Just this summer, there are two things that stick out.  One time, I took the kids to eat lunch (at a taco truck, so nothing inside).  Remember I said we've had over 50 days of 100+ degree temperatures?  Yeah, well, it was hot.  And my car died.  My husband was at work, 30 minutes away.  And besides, he wasn't really answering his phone.  So, I called Scottie.  He answered.  Other than to ask where I was, not one single question was asked when I told him what happened.  He dropped EVERYTHING he was doing to come jump my car.  I still had a few errands I had wanted to run (as it was the Friday before Father's Day & I needed to finish my husband's gift).  Scottie offered to follow me to the store to get what I needed.  He didn't have to do that. But he did.

Then, there was the time this summer when our washing machine went out.  Again, my husband was at work.  They were worried about me being home alone with the repair man (now, I really think I could have handled it, but they would have nothing of it).  So, Scottie came over & literally WATCHED THE MAN WORK!  He stood right there in the laundry room & watched him do his thing.  When the repair man was done, Scottie came to me and said he needed money.  He was there to protect me (even if I didn't think I needed it).  I really appreciated it.  

He was a good man.  He still is.  I'm so proud his spirit will live on in my husband.  I'm so proud he taught my husband how to work and be a man.  I'm so proud my husband learned everything he could from his dad.  I know Greg will pass this on to our children.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.