Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's been quite a while since I've blogged. I mentioned a while ago that I wanted to create a new blog once I got married to document my new life with my new family. I've started that new blog and would LOVE if you all would follow me there. I am going to continue to follow all of my blog friends (you!) from over at my new blog and hope you will join me over there!

It has just been started so I'm still working on decorating it :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Fast Approaching

First of all, can I just give a shout-out to my Clemson Tigers??!! We ended Auburn's 17 game winning streak in the REAL Death Valley!!! So beautiful, haha! A GREAT way to start my wedding week!

My September work schedule has been completely messed up because of my wedding and my preceptor :) So I've had little time to blog between work and my one day off of cleaning up the house! But...we are now into single digits before the wedding! I can't believe how fast it's coming.

I'm so excited and I can't wait to marry my best friend on Saturday. We have a few more things to finish up for the wedding, so on my 2 days off (today and tomorrow) I've come home to help. I have to work Wednesday and Thursday, though. I have THE best preceptor in the world though. When I came in to work yesterday she said, "Erin you are NOT staying here all day on Thursday. You're leaving at three." Long story short, she's not making me stay until 7...or 8...or 9 as some days call for! She's letting me work half a day!! So thankful for her!

I can't wait for the wedding festivities to begin! And I really can't wait for my honeymoon! Two weeks in Hawaii...it's going to be amazing. Truth be told, this is our first vacation "together". We've gone on family vacays, but not just the 2 of us so I'm really ready!

I don't know if I'll have time to blog before then, but if not, here is a sneak peak of what's to come after the festivities are over!

Happy Wedding Week!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering 9/11

Like a lot of you, I have found myself thinking back to 10 years ago today and where I was when I first found out about the terrorist attacks. I was sitting in my first period class in high school about to take a test. My teacher's cell phone rang and her husband told her to turn on the tv, that something was going on we needed to see. She told him we were about to take a test and it would have to wait. He argued with her and she finally turned it on. She told us we could have the tv on as long as we continued to take our exam. When she turned it on, we saw one of the world trade towers on fire and reports that a plane had hit it. We had been watching for about 5 minutes when the second plane hit the second tower. The newscasters were saying, "I think another plane just hit the second tower. This cannot be an accident." I will never forget that moment, knowing that I saw the unfolding of a terrorist attack on my home soil. I still can't believe we watched that happen live. We never finished our exams. I finished my day at school, hearing little pieces here and there about the Pentagon, how the towers collapsed, and the heroic efforts of Flight 93.

I sat glued to my tv all afternoon and for days after. I tried to find some way to comprehend what had happened to our country. I ended up drawing a picture and writing a poem. Maybe one day I'll be brave enough to share it on here. :) I was 15 and at a time where most 15 year olds have trouble figuring out who they are, we had the added job of figuring out what this attack meant for us and for our nation. Like most of you, I have found it very hard to believe that 10 years have passed since 9/11. It seems like just yesterday and the emotions, for me, are still just as raw today as they were 10 years ago. Post 9/11 continues to be our reality a decade later. I've watched many shows over the last few days and mourned all over again the loss of so much life. I've also reveled in the fact that we are a stronger nation today because of that heinous act and just as I did 10 years ago, I'll go to bed tonight praying for those who were affected (and still are) by 9/11.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Day to Catch Up

I just finished my four days in a row and am loving just laying around on the couch today! I have to work again tomorrow and Thursday so I'm not doing much of anything today except relaxing :) I've been catching up on the blogs I read and I'll probably clean the bathroom and I already have laundry going so I'm not being completely stationary. ;)

The start of my four days was really tough. I know it was inevitable in the field that I work in, but I had my first infant pass away. It was one of the hardest things to have to do. The situation was really difficult. This baby was so sick and the parents were no where to be found. They kept calling and saying they would be there soon and would never show. I am NOT passing judgment at all. I have never had a child, let alone one who was sick or one who was dying, so I have no idea how I would handle that. But this baby was all alone and in pain and we could do nothing until the parents showed up. It made me so angry that they just left their to suffer all alone. At one point I just went into the room and prayed for the baby, rubbed the baby's head, and told the baby it was loved and beautiful and would be ok. It was so sad to watch. My preceptor told me later that most deaths aren't like this one. Most of the time, the parents are always there even though it's so hard, so this was different. Either way it was hard.

It was a tough evening, but the best thing was getting back in there the next day and working hard for all of the other babies in the NICU right now. And I worked 3 more days in a row!

(*Just had to share this picture of Jovie, she LOVES bags, so when I opened the pantry door, she bee-lined it for the almost empty paper towel bag...)

I had to work over labor day weekend, but David enjoyed going to the Clemson game on Saturday! We got season tickets this year and we are about 20 rows from the field! Talk about nice seats :) Unfortunately, I won't be able to go to any of the games until at least after our honeymoon...bummer! But David and his friends will enjoy using the tickets so I'm happy about that!

David and I also decided that we want to try a new meal every week. It may not work too well until we get back from our honeymoon and get settled, but we did try something new last week! It was SO good! It's called, "Sour Cream Noodle Bake" and it's a PW recipe. The name sounds gross, but the picture looked so delicious, so we tried it and decided it's a keeper! I made a side of buttered french bread and salad. Definitely good the next day for lunch, too. :)

David and I are going to dinner tonight with some friends, so I'm looking forward to that. This weekend, we are headed back to Charlotte for Vanessa and Dave's wedding! I'm also having my last shower! Bittersweet, but I'm going to enjoy it! I hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Weekend Fun

I've had the last 3 days off from work....I needed them! Monday was crazy. Now I'm gearing up for a 4 day stretch with one day of break and then a day and a half. It's making me hyperventilate just thinking about it!! ;)

(The girls ready for bachelorette night!)

This past weekend, David and I drove to my hometown for a fun-filled weekend. Well, fun for me :) Saturday morning, we had the taste testing at the place we decided on for our rehearsal dinner. I am extremely excited about our rehearsal dinner! I took the leftovers home and had them for lunch on Monday--that's how good it's going to be!! We got a lot accomplished at that meeting and I'm glad because we are down to the wire, people! 24 more days and then I'm a married woman!

(Amy, me, and Jess on our side of the table at dinner...)

Saturday afternoon/evening/night was my bachelorette stuff. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this or not, but my bachelorette weekend was supposed to be at the beginning of August, but was canceled because I had to work. (There was no way I could get off for that when I'm taking 2 weeks for my honeymoon...so I was okay with that!) But luckily, my friends got together for me on Saturday and we had a blast :) We laid out by the pool and went shopping during the day, had dinner (and dancing!!) at Cosmo's that evening, and then opened presents (lingerie!!) and got through some of Father of the Bride before we all passed out :)
(Erin and Susan on their side of the table!)

My presents are so cute!! I am so excited to get to wear them on my honeymoon! None of them are raunchy, they are very tasteful and some of them are just downright adorable.

(My wonderful hostesses!)

Sunday, my Aunt Diane and cousin Amy held a bridal shower for me. Y'all, it was perfect! The food was absolutely delicious. My aunt made some chicken salad that I've already gotten the recipe for...and made. That's how good it was. This party was mostly for my mom's friends and she has some of the sweetest friends around. Everyone was so thoughtful and we all just had a really wonderful time.
(Mrs. Libby and me...she is the reason I went to Clemson!)

I ended up going back to Charlotte on Tuesday for a meeting with a cake decorator. I'm in charge of David's groom's cake and all I'm going to say is that thing is going to be awesome. I can't give away any hints, but I know he is just going to love it. He better love it, too, for what I'm paying for it!! ;) I know I already said this, but I can't believe I'm 3 short weeks from being married....what in the world?!
(Enjoying the party! :) )

And those 3 weeks are going to go by fast with the 20 bajillion workdays I have coming up! :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

What Did I Get Myself In To?

I just finished a weekend of work and let me tell you, it was LONG. I was so exhausted last night, I went to bed at 10 and didn't get up until 10 this morning! I probably could have slept longer, too, but I didn't want to feel like I wasted a whole day ;)

Typically, each nurse gets 3 babies to care for. As an intensive unit, nurses can't have 6 patients like they do on basic nursing floors because the care level required is extensive. (Not taking a dig on floor nurses, they are the bomb.com because they CAN handle a 6 patient load. There is no way that even with all of my organizational skills that I would be able to handle 6 patients! They are AWESOME.) My orientation nurse (We'll call her JD for Jane Doe :) I don't want to be giving out too much info!) is awesome, so awesome that they constantly give her the hardest assignments because they know she can handle it and still give quality care to all of the babies. I don't mind it at all because I get to learn a lot about really sick kids. I also think that's why I leave everyday feeling totally overwhelmed :) On Friday, we had 2 of the same kids we'd been having, plus one new one. When I walked in, she asked me if I'd like to take all 3 today. Sooo, I took care of one chronic (has been there a few months), one gastroschesis baby (intestines outside the body), and one vented baby. I am proud to say I handled all of them, stayed on time with my care, and even helped re-intubate the vented baby! JD was impressed as well :)

I love my job and even though it's overwhelming, I love it for reasons like this: On Saturday, we admitted a baby who was too young. So young that it's eyes were still fused together. Can you imagine how tiny that is? On Sunday, JD and I were assigned to care for this baby. It wasn't on a ventilator so it was having to breathe for itself. Unfortunately, it was having a hard time doing that and spent most of the morning with many apneic episodes. (Note: lungs are the last thing to develop..there is no way this baby's lungs were developed enough to be breathing on its own...) JD decided that because this baby was so sick, I would care only for this one baby today and she would take the other two. I literally spent all morning keeping this baby breathing. The baby would do okay for a few minutes but then just got tired. Finally, the doctors decided to intubate. Thank goodness:) This tiny little baby could breathe now! Once on the vent, you could see the little eyes trying to open up and finally they did! They blinked a little bit and it was the coolest experience to know that you were there the first time a baby sees the world.

I will say though, that I was so nervous to be caring for this baby before it was put on the vent! I haven't had my neonatal resuscitation course yet and JD was like, "just keep the baby alive! I'll be back in a few!" I looked at her and said, "JD! Are you serious? Okay this is making me too nervous!" JD has a lot of confidence in me and I did in fact keep the baby alive :)

JD did pull me to the side later in the day though to tell me that I'm doing a great job. She said that she knows they give her hard assignments because she can handle them, but that they are hard for an orientee, let alone a new grad! A lot of the times, other orientees are sitting around doing nothing because they have one baby to care for and then nothing to do. All of our babies are so sick that we are constantly doing something and never get to sit down. JD sees all of this but also said that she's glad I was put with her because I'm smart and a hard worker and I am handling the assignments great and she doesn't know that any of the other orientees could do it!

I'm not bragging on myself, but it is really, really nice to hear that. I do leave work some days things "what in the world did I get myself in to?" but knowing that I'm doing a good job, even when I feel like I'm not makes me feel a little better. And being an advocate for these tiny little things makes it all worth it!

One last thing: we had a normal newborn come in for simple monitoring and I looked at that thing and thought, "gosh that's a big baby!" In reality, it was only 6 lbs. which is almost on the low side of healthy newborns! I've been hanging out with too many little ones lately that the normal size ones seem huge! ;)

Friday, August 12, 2011


Well, I don't know about y'all, but I am more than ready for fall to be here! I know you aren't supposed to wish the time away, but I literally stood in my closet this morning for like 10 minutes looking longingly at the cute sweaters I can't wear yet! Our A/C has been acting up ever since David went to Germany (when it actually broke and they came and "fixed" it) so we are currently getting a new one installed. Marley loves people and he thinks everyone is here to play with him so I had to tell you this story.

There are 2 guys here putting in the new A/C unit. Marley was at the bottom of the stairs and one of the guys wanted to come down and Marley was sitting there barking at him and wagging his little nub...cute little boy just wanted to play! Well, I heard the guy stop on the stairs and Marley kept barking so I called his name. The guy on the stairs said, "does he bite???" Umm...no sir, he's about 5 pounds soaking wet but it sounds like you are a little afraid of him.

It just cracked me up that this huge guy was scared of my 5 lb. rat ;)

*My first day of work! Although, now I have a few pediatric scrub tops so I'll have to take pictures of those later! They are soooo darn cute!*

In other news, I am still loving my job. I still leave everyday feeling completely overwhelmed, but I love what I do so I'm pushing through it. :) All of the nurses assure me that it is completely normal to feel that way and they would be concerned if I didn't feel overwhelmed.

I had my first poop attack yesterday :) There is one sweet, sweet little baby who is just so sick that I have been taking care of. He's been sedated since he was born and they just took him completely off sedation this week so now he's one whole pound of attitude ;) They've also started increasing his feedings so mix his attitude with his bowel habits and you've got a potential mess on your hands! Because he's so sick, we try not to touch him too much and usually change his diaper when we do vital signs/assessments. Well, I went to change him and he'd pooped a little in his diaper..."good boy!" I said to him. I usually put the clean diaper underneath the dirty diaper so if they do start pottying, there is something else there to keep the bed clean. So I had everything in place and I lifted his legs to clean his bottom and....he SHOT a LINE of poop all the way across his isolette!! I was just stunned. How could someone so little create such a force that it shot out like that?! It was so funny and we ended up having to change all of his sheets. So much for my diaper theory :)

I also had the brilliant thought that once I was out of school I wouldn't have anymore books to read or tests to do. Wrong. Our nurse educator has delivered 2 new books for me to read and one of them belongs to a set of like 3 that I have to read. Each chapter had a test that I have to do and turn in! Yay....

I have this weekend off so today I cleaned the whole downstairs. I mopped all of the floors, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, kitchen counters. The upstairs needs to be done, but I'm not sure if I'll do it tomorrow or wait until next week. I don't get to spend too much time with David these days so I think we will do something fun tomorrow :) One thing that I hate is clutter. Two of our rooms downstairs (our future office and my future craft room...yes!) are just full of junk that we have no place to store right now. A lot of papers need to be filed, but I think it's pointless to do it when we'll just have to re-do it later! We have a "desk" and an old dining room hutch so I think when Dave gets home I'm going to get him to help me set up a make-shift office so we can start organizing some of the papers. We'll need to make a run to Target to get some filing cabinets. And I'm sure we'll find some other things at Target because I can never go in there without buying more than what I came for! :)

My friend Ashley got hooked on iced coffee from her sister-in-law and now she's got me hooked on it, too! So I've got myself a cup and I'm going to start tackling those NICU books :) I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!