Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas 2013

My boys were spoiled this year! iPads for all three! 





Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wedding days

I was honored to be a bridesmaid in one of my dearest friends' wedding.  It was an amazing weekend spent with wonderful people. 





Monday, November 11, 2013

The amazing gift that is my future career...

I'm lucky.  So lucky.  I get to see the love of life every day.  This precious angel was welcomed into a sweet family and I was honored to witness the strength and love in the room.  While Daddy Skyped from Afghanistan, he watched his child being welcomed into the world.  On Veteran's Day.  Love.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My first delivery


So much has happened that I’m having to back date all of my entries!  School has been so crazy.  I finally began deliveries this September!  It is a surreal experience to finally be doing what I am meant to do.  I’m enjoying the deliveries and the patients.  I feel a sense of peace when I’m in my element. As a nurse, I have caught many babies.  Mostly by surprise! I have finally progressed to the point where I am doing deliveries on my own.  It is all slowly coming together.  All in the life of a student Nurse-Midwife! It is very difficult to spend so much time with school and work and the kids.  I feel pulled in so many directions.  The kids are taking it all in stride and are coping well.   My Mama-guilt isn’t coping as well.  It is hard to be without them for such long stretches of time.  The new school year has kept them busy.  The boys started preschool and Nathan is now a first grader!  Hard to believe.  So all in all, life is just crazy.  School for everyone and time for nothing else!!   


Here is a picture from my first delivery.  You obviously can’t see it, but I cried.  Just an amazing experience. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A milestone. The big 3-0.

My 30th birthday was filled with so much love from Brandon and my friends.  We made a trip up to Chicago and attended Market Days (celebrating LGBT rights) and had the most amazing time.  As I enter a new decade, I'm feeling a bit sad as I lose my 20s.  But happy to see what this brings me. 





Monday, August 5, 2013

School days!

My babies are going to school!  Gav and Kai start preschool and Nathan is now a first grader!  Where has my time gone?!  Look at these sweet handsome boys.  Love.
 Sweet Gavy
 My Kai-bear
 First step into first grade
My big Nathan Cole

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Update on my life

It is always this blog (and don't even get me started on scrapbooking) that takes a backseat to life and kids and school and work.  But as I use this blog as a diary of sorts, I really do try to update it when important things happen.

So, life is still insane.  I am currently 331 days away from completing my CNM program!  Not that I am counting or anything...

This summer semester is killing me.  Clinical hours have doubled, class workload has doubled, and my time has been halved.  I continue to do well, but I'm not going to lie and say that it isn't hard.  I cannot wait to be done.  Just the stress of deadlines and exams is sometimes just too much.  I'm trying to really reign in my anxiety, but sometimes it is hard.  Having twin three year olds is not for the faint of heart.  They try my patience to the limit some days. 

Running has really taken a backseat.  I try to get out at least once a week, but it is so hard to force myself to get out there when I am just so tired and just want to relax for 5 minutes peace.  But I'm still going, so that's what counts.  I have two half-marathons on the books for this fall.  I'm looking forward to that!  For now, I'm just trying to maintain my current endurance level.  A couple miles here and there do make a difference.  My weight has roughly stayed the same, I will have the 5 lb fluctuations, as all women do, but mostly I'm happy with where I'm at. 

Our poor social life has also been on the back burner since about March.  Fortunately, we have some great weekends coming up.  Brandon and I are headed to Saint Louis this weekend to visit our friends and hit up a Cardinals game (I'm going to drink beer as I have no interest in baseball).  Then next weekend, we are headed to Columbus, Ohio with some friends to see my favorite band, The Postal Service.  I'm really looking forward to that!! 

The boys are doing well.  As you can see from previous posts, the twins are potty-trained! And fighting. They test even Mother Teresa's patience. It seems that someone is always hurt and always crying.  Which makes me think that three kids is plenty for us!  Although I will admit to having a bit of baby fever now and again.  Today, however, I do not and am ready for these kids to move on out of here.  Nathan is doing well, making friends around the neighborhood, and continuing the process of learning to read.  School is out for the summer and he is enjoying that.

BP is doing well, working a lot.  Busy with the kids, same old. 

My work is going ok.  Our census is very low at the moment, so I've been called off a bit too much in these past few weeks, which as lead me to find a new job.  Not that I am leaving my old one, but I need some supplemental hours to cover my sitter costs while I am at clinicals.  So I've interviewed at several bigger hospitals in Indianapolis and hope that one of those works out. 

All-in-all, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it.  My life is really hard right now.  School is just so hard.  And I'm just trying to be everything to everybody.  And I'm exhausted.  I know a year from now, when I am done and passed my boards and have found the perfect job, I will be happy that I put all this work into it.  But right now it is hard to see.  Disclaimer: This year STILL does not even come close to the insanely horrible year after the babies were born.  While I adore them and they are the cutest, THAT was still the hardest year ever and I made it through!  Sometimes it is the little things...

Gav and Kai are potty-trained!!

They have done amazing!!  I am so proud of them!  We created a sticker chart in the bathroom and the reward was a Chuck E. Cheese trip.  They stuck to it and are now diaper free!  My sweet boys are growing up!  And WE HAVE NO ONE IN DIAPERS!!!! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nathan's Kindergarten Graduation

 Congratulations to our Kindergarten grad, Nathan Cole!
 Nathan with Gavy.
 The love Gav has for Nathan is really shown here. 



 Nathan is the tallest in his class, so he is in the back! 
 Kai looking adorable at Nathan's graduation.
 Mrs. Barlow was an inspiration to me this year.  She really guided me through the trials of Kindergarten.  She was meant to be a teacher. 
 Hard to see, but Nathan gets his diploma from the principal.  The program was so cute, they had a baby picture and a current picture up on the screen for everyone to see. 
 Graduated! 
 With Grandma and Grandpa!
 Proud parents. 
 Nathan with Gavy and Kai-bear. 
 The future graduating class! They both start preschool this August. 
Gavin being silly.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

 Happy Mother's Day to me! My sweet sons and husband made this a very special day for me.  They have me the complete Harry Potter boxed set of books.  This made me cry.  My old books are frayed and torn in places and falling apart from so many reads.  This just really shows how well BP knows me. 

 Mother's Day this year fell on Nathan Cole's birthday.  Happy birthday sweetheart!  You are amazing.

Letter to my 6 year old boy





Dear Nathan,

Happy 6th birthday sweetheart!  What a wild and crazy 6 years it has been.  You have grown and changed so much, and I am so proud of you for all you have done this past year.

You have grown 3 inches this year!  You are currently 47 inches tall.  You have also gained 7.2 pounds and are up to 47.4lbs.  This puts you at the very top of the growth curve for your height (just like Daddy) and around the top middle for your weight.  Tall and skinny. :)

So much has happened it is hard to know where to start.  First of all, I'm writing this letter to you a bit late (around a week or so) because this week has been so busy!  You turned 6 on Mother's Day this year!  We had a wonderful day.  We took you to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate your birthday and Gav and Kai's newly potty skills!  We had your party the next day at a park.  It was such a fun day!  You had lots of friends from your class there and had an excellent time.  You got a new, bigger bike and love it!

This week was also very special because you graduated from Kindergarten!  You have worked so hard this year.  You are in the process of learning to read.  During Kindergarten this year, you have learned over 100 sight words and have read a total of 50 books!  You are beginning to understand Math and have really enjoyed computer lab.  You've made many friends and made so many strides in speech.  It is actually difficult to tell you had a speech delay at all.  Our biggest obstactle we are working on overcoming is your anxiety.  You have such high levels of anxiety (just like Mama) and we are really working on ways to help you with this.  You get better each day.

You are an amazing big brother.  You have helped Kai and Gavin learn how to use the potty!  You help them to go, remind them when it is time, and help them put a sticker on their sticker chart. You are the first one to clap for them when they get it right!

So another year has sped by, and at 6 years old, you are already such an amazing person.  I love you so much.  It is so fitting that your birthday fell on Mother's Day, as you are the reason that I became a mother in the first place.  Happiest of birthdays my sweet son.

Love,

Mom

 Interview with a 6 year old, Nathan Cole:

What is your name? Nathan Cole

How old are you? 6

Who is your best friend? Owen (he lives down the street)

What is your favorite food? Pizza

What is your favorite animal? Giraffe

What is your favorite color? Purple

What is your favorite movie? Back to the Future

Who is your favorite person? Owen

Who are your brothers? Gavin and Kai

What does mommy do? She takes care of babies.

What does daddy do? He works on Honda cars.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to take care of babies like Mommy. 

What do you love?  Mommy (same answer as last year, and I love it).  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Starting my clinical fellowship

I'm in the fourth week of the semester and 4 weeks in to my clinical fellowship.  My first semester is spent learning about primary care and basic gynecology, so my hours of clinical are spent in an outpatient clinic.  This clinic is set in downtown Cincinnati and provides care to urban and under-served areas of the city.  While it is overwhelming at the moment, it occurs to me how lucky I am to have this opportunity.

I'm learning from 8 nurse midwives.  My main preceptor has been doing this for nearly 25 years.  She has practiced all over the country and seen pretty much everything.  They have taken me under their wings in an attempt to teach me everything they know.  Right now, it feels as though I will never learn it all, but I imagine this will come in time.  Although one of the midwives said something that stood out to me yesterday.  During a tense moment in which I was frantically trying to answer my main preceptor's question about which oral contraceptive I would give a patient, she leaned over to me and said, "the minute you have all the answers, you need to leave this field."  Which I'm sure is true for every line of work, but especially so in the uncertain world of midwifery. 

This week also happens to be the week we are beginning to study women's health care and midwifery around the world.  Reading about midwives from other countries and how they practice is fascinating.  Especially reading about African midwives who have been trained as surgeons because the maternal death rate is high and there are only 3 doctors per 100,000 people living there.  Can you imagine?  These midwives practice from trunks and work on mud floors of huts.  They are 100+ miles from the nearest city or running water.  Still.  In this century.  While expected, reading their stories astounded me.  I was particularly moved by the book Monique and the Mango Rains.  About a young midwife from Mali who had women from a day away walking to get prenatal care from her clinic.  Her birthing house was without a roof or bed.  Straw mats with buckets to catch placentas were really the only equipment available to her.  She herself died while giving birth and the book was written by a member of the Peace Corps who spent several years under Monique's wing.

Reading this and seeing many documentaries about the current practice of midwives from around the world, makes me want to help in some way.  Maybe after my kids are grown and I have been practicing awhile, I can go volunteer in some of these places.  Although I'm hopeful by then, problems will be fixed, but doubtful.

All in all, the semester is going fine so far.  But I will admit to hanging on to small shreds of my sanity at times.  When my to-do list surpasses the amount of hours I have available, I get stressed.  The work continues to pile on and the boys are continuing to get bigger and into more things.  I still need to work to pay the sitter so that I can go to clinicals.  But I'm still grateful for the opportunity.  Eventually, all this will be worth it. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Letters to my 3 year old boys...

Dear Gavin,

Happy 3rd Birthday sweetheart!  I cannot believe that you are already 3!  Time seems to have flown by this past year.  Life gets better and better with you every day.

You are 33.8lbs and 38.5 inches tall!  You've grown 2 inches this year and gained nearly 4lbs.  You are finally a bit taller than Kai.  Although you both weigh the exact same.  :)

You are a big chatterbox.  You love to talk.  You can talk about anything, all day long.  Your favorite foods are salad from Mom's plate, spaghetti with no sauce but lots of Parmesan cheese, and pizza.  You fight daily with your brothers and crack yourselves up at your antics.  Injuries are an hourly occurence around this house.  You all seem to have a gift for getting into trouble.  But there are times when you are so absorbed in each other that it is so sweet.  You love Nathan so much.  You wait for him to get home and demand hugs and kisses from him the minute he walks in the door.  When Kai and you are separated (when one of you has a doctor's appointment) you are oddly quiet.  The minute you both are reunited you run up to each other and give hugs.  Then one of you always says "you came back!" as though you are so surprised.  It is so sweet.  This letter was written a couple of days late, so we have already had your 3rd birthday party.  You had a wonderful time and loved every second of it.

Recently you had to get tubes in your ears, just like Kai.  You kept getting ear infections that wouldn't go away.  The surgery went so smoothly partly because you are the best patient I have ever seen.  You sit so still when the doctor or nurse is in the room.  You are quiet, but very kind to them.  Recently you went to the dentist for the first time too.  You did so amazing!  I was so proud of you.  I'm always proud of you though.  

You love both Grandmas and Grandpa so much.  You get so excited to see them.  You are sleeping in your own bed in the same room as your brothers now.  Although you sleep with plenty of stuffed animals too.  Your favorites are Dora and Lucy (a stuffed boxer). You have absolutely no interest in the potty.  Nope, you aren't doing it.  Never.  Or so you say.

You know colors and some shapes.  You recognize your name and can count to 10.  You love playing with cars, Legos, and Buzz Lightyear.  You get cranky in the morning and can be counted on for one or two tantrums before 8am.  Guess you aren't a morning person either.

And so sweet boy, 3 years has passed.  Some moments are hard, especially working through the twin dynamic, but most are moments that I try to tuck away to remember you exactly as you are now.  Well, maybe without the diapers.  :)

Love you always,

Mama

Interview with Gavin:

What is your name? Gavin Quinn

How old are you? 65. 

Who is your best friend? Kai-bear.  No wait!  Nathan.  Yep Nathan.

What is your favorite food? Chocolate milk

What is your favorite animal? A horse!

What is your favorite color? Black.

What is your favorite movie? Phineas movie, mom!

Who is your favorite person? I don't know.

Who are your brothers? Kai-bear and Nathan and me.

What does mommy do? Works with Daddy.

What does daddy do? He works.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor!

What do you love?  Mommy.  (Nathan's same answer from his 5 year interview, I love them).

______________________________________________

Dear Kai,

You are perhaps the sweetest, most loveable kid ever.  While your brothers are charming and adorable, you have this divine innocence about you that can't be explained.  You are 3 years old now, Kai-bear!

You are 38inches tall and 33.8lbs.  You've gained an inch and nearly 4lbs this year.  I wonder how tall you will end up.  You are growing so differently than Nathan.  Gavin has surpassed your height but you are the exact same weight.

The biggest thing in your life this past year has been speech therapy.  We started shortly after your second birthday and had our last session a couple of days before you turned 3.  You saw Julie, Nathan's old speech therapist weekly.  We thought that you may have some of the same issues that Nathan had, but your course has been much different.  We know that before your tubes were placed, you couldn't hear well.  The doctors and speech therapist think that this delayed your speech and altered your speech pattern.  Now however, we recently took you to be evaluated by the school system and they think that aren't behind at all anymore!  You test in the 5 year old range for certain areas.  I was amazed and stunned by how well you did in the evaluation.  You apparently are absorbing a lot of things that I wasn't even aware of.  We are so proud of all the progress you have made this year.  Next year, both you and Gavin will be off to preschool for two days a week.  The thought of all my babies in school has me a little nervous!  But you both will do so well.

You, like your twin, are not, ever, never, notgoingtoever, go to the potty. You both are resisting with all your might.  So we have shelved the whole potty issue. We are hopeful maybe this spring, we can get you both to go.  :)

Your personality is radiant as I mentioned before.  You are rarely upset, but can be counted on for starting some fights with your brothers.  You like to pick on both of them and can be found frequently in the timeout corner.  That being said, I've never seen a kid with attention to detail like you.  You are constantly watching things to try to figure out how they work.  You love playing with cars and trucks. You are currently obsessed with your "spy car" and if you can't find it, you get so distressed.  You also love, love, love playing with the iPad.  That is probably your favorite thing to do, well besides fighting with your brothers.  :)

3 sweet years have passed.  Each day is easier than the one previous.  You are such a wonderful and amazing soul, Kai.  I love you so much.

Always,

Mama

Interview with Kai:

What is your name? Kai. 

How old are you? Kai.

Who is your best friend? Gavin

What is your favorite food? Lemonade

What is your favorite animal? Nathan.

What is your favorite color? Green

What is your favorite movie? Cars

Who is your favorite person? Ummm....Nathan

Who are your brothers? Gavy and me

What does mommy do? Goes to work.

What does daddy do? Goes to work too.

What do you want to be when you grow up? A doctor with Gavin.

What do you love? You Mommy.  Awww.....perhaps Gavin's answer influenced him, but I read this as love and adoration from my babies.  Just as love and adore them. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Every year, I make New Year's resolutions and examine how well I did with the previous year's. 

2012 resolutions:

1. Kick ass in school!! Classes start in 2 days! I'm nervous and excited. More nervous. I just want to do well.  While it has been a tough and crazy year, I have done really well so far.  I'm maintaining as close to a 4.0 grade point average as I can get (damn you, A-). 

2. Maintain my weight loss and fitness level. I've done pretty well.  I fluctuate between 5lbs of where I was when I wrote this resolution.  My fitness level is pretty much the same.  I'm still running and enjoying it.

3. Complete another 5K with a better time. I actually went above and beyond this goal!  I completed my first half marathon this year!  I worked so hard to train and it paid off.  My time per mile was better in my half marathon than both of my 5Ks. 

4. Go on date-nights with Brandon at least once a month! This is so important for our sanity. We did amazing with this!  Thankfully we have willing sitters, because we went somewhere and did something nearly every month.  In April we went to Chicago.  In May, we had a date night in Louisville.  In July, we went to Las Vegas by ourselves!  It was an amazing trip.  In August, we went to a friend's wedding in Chicago.  In September, we went to New Orleans with some of our friends!  That was a blast.  In October, we went back to Las Vegas for my friend Carrie's 30th birthday!!  In November, we went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee for Brandon's 30th birthday.  We stayed in an amazing cabin in the mountains.  Went zip-lining and just enjoyed each other's company. And finally, we just returned from a trip to St. Louis for New Year's with our good friends.  An amazing year of travel and fun. 

5. Be a better friend. Spend more time working on my friendships. I worked hard on that this year.  Spending more time with our close friends, developing new friends at work, and just being a better person in general.  It was nice.  

2013 RESOLUTIONS:
1. Continue to do well in school.  Keep my grades up, learn everything I possibly can, and try to make it through.

2. Continue running and lose this last 10lbs.  It seems stubbornly attached to me! I'm also going to complete a couple of races this year.  I will definitely be returning for the Monumental Half Marathon in November.  I'm also completing a relay Marathon in Carmel this April.  I'm on a team of 4 women and will be doing the 8-mile leg. 

3. Continue with travel.  Every other month or so, travel to another city and be alone with Brandon.  We already have a couple of trips planned out.  We will for sure be going back to Vegas at some point this summer.  We also have a wedding to attend in Kansas City in November. 

4. Turn 30 with grace and a hell of a party.  :) My 30th birthday is this year.  We have plans to travel somewhere and do something!  I just have to plan it. 

5. Be a good mom.  While everything seems to be so hectic, I need to remember to focus on my babies.