Monday, 30 June 2008

Weekend in Indiana Part Uno

The nice thing about Leo being a pilot is that sometimes he gets an unexpected long weekend. This past weekend he had five days off, so of course we went to Indiana. (I wasn't at all motivated by the sewing machine my sister had bought at a garage sale and had waiting for me.)

Saturday we went to Turkey Run State Park and hiked all over. It was Ana's first time hiking, and she LOVED it!!! She did really well too, no whining or anything.

Here's the Bell family.

We also were able to test out our new baby carrier--Elena apparently thought it was cozy. (Thanks Martha, Orlando, Cesar and Alex!)

Ana carried Brett's camelback and kept asking why we had never bought her one. Hmmm.... it just wasn't the first thing to pop into my head as a necessity of life, maybe? Andrea, don't you dare tell her you gave Miriam one!This is Kayli (yes, 7 months pregnant), Brett (yes, with Ethne still strapped on his back) and Ana all suspending from the suspension bridge. Silly monkeys.

On the suspension bridge--the river looked nice underneath, but a little smelly.

Ana's first hotdog roast!!! We forgot barquets, so Kayli and I went and begged some off another group of hikers that were nearby. Oops. We also forgot the stuff to make smores. And we should have bought another bag of hotdog buns--hence the pictures of us eating hotdogs off a stick.

More pictures--Kayli takes a million!! You should all double click on it to see the pictures bigger.

Ethne and Elena were so adorable. They could both say each other's names by the time we left, and both were just trouble. You'll see more pictures of them in my next post. Till then, ta ta!

Thursday, 26 June 2008

Adoption Progress!!! FINALLLY!!!

I just found out that ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) just approved Ana's placement!!!!! That means we are much, much closer to finalizing the adoption. We just have to go to court now and then the judge may or may not require that Ana be monitored at our house for a certain number of months--we're hoping not, since she's already been with us for so long, and a couple more homestudies, and that's it!!!!! I'm so excited to have it done with!!! Yeah!!! Yeah!!! Yeah!!!!

Monday, 23 June 2008

About Ana

The last few days have been hectic but nice. Ana finished up swimming lessons, which she did great at. She passed her level, was given a MVP award, and was recommended for the swim team!! (Not that we'll be doing swim team due to the cost involved. Oh, well.) She was the only kid in her class able to do standing dives.

In other news, Ana had her hair cut. I didn't really give her a choice in the matter. Her hair is SOOOO thick, and whenever she brushed it, she'd only brush the top layer and it would always look ratty and tangled underneath. So I told her if she can't brush it properly, then it has to be cut. She wanted it cut to her ears. I had only made the stipulation of her shoulders, by the way. Both me and Sarah (a friend in the ward who cut it) really thought ear length was way too short for her heart-shaped face, so it's middle-of-her-neck length. When she first looked in the mirror she looked as if she were about to cry and said she didn't like it at all, but now she says she likes it. Sarah also thinned her hair for an HOUR. Literally, there were piles of hair on the floor, and her hair is still sooo thick! But it's looked decently brushed since then, which I am so happy about. I think her hair cut is adorable, and perfect for the summer!

Ana also received a new bike. Found a new bike actually. It was by the garbage dumpster, Leo just had to tighten the seat and the handlebars and it's as good as new. Don't you just love dumpster finds?!?!?
This is the picture Ana took of me and Elena after I took the pictures of her haircut. Don't I look cute in an apron? Elena on the other hand, loves to wear those pajamas; they have cows on them and whenever she puts them on, she says "Mooooo" a lot. And she puts them on a lot in the middle of the day (like she did for this picture)--that pair and another pair that has a Carebear on it. It gets annoying actually, but still is kind of cute. At night she never wants to wear any of her other pajamas either. Just those two pairs. Crazy girl.

And this is the picture Ana took of Elena after helping her put diapers on her two babies and of course cover them with a blanket--otherwise known as a swim towel. Elena LOVES dolls now. A new doll is definitely going to be her birthday present this year.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Baby Names and Other Weighter Matters

Lately I've been getting so excited for our new baby. I bought a few baby things and just can't wait!!!! (I don't know why though, as Elena has been crying in her crib for the past 40 mins. Errr..... Why would I want another one?!?!?) Anyway, Leo and I had settled on baby names long ago, but recently, I've been having second thoughts. Here's the choices:

Isabel Grace
Sebastian Jack (Jack after my Dad)

Runners up are:

Nicolas Orlando (Orlando after Leo's Dad)
Simon Andres
Julian Matteo


Nicolas is going to be the next boy for sure and as you can see, we have a little trouble coming up with middle names for girls. Maybe Evelyn Louisa or Alice Mecedes. I don't know. Anyway, I'm not really having second thoughts about Sebastian, only about Isabel. I LOVE the name Isabel--but it's second on the list for popularity in the United States right now. Ughh. I just don't want her name in 10-15 yrs have an overused sterotype like Ashley or Britney. We were trying to pick names that would transition well between English and Spanish though too, and Alice and Evelyn really don't fit that. They do sound well with Nicolas and Sebastian though. Anyway, it's "supposed" to be Leo's turn to choose this time as I forced Elena on him, so I guess what he says will be a determining factor.

If you want, here's a great link to Name Voyager where you can see the popularity of names over the last century. Also this site, Nymbler, helps you find similiar names to ones you like. That's where I've been spending my time lately. Oops. I guess I should do something useful, like the pile of ironing waiting on the couch.

Oh, but here's an amusing story, (not to me though). When we named Elena, we picked it in part because of its easy transition between English and Spanish. However, for some unknown reason, all of my husband's family assumed we were telling them the Spanish version of her English name, Helen. So to this day, I still get cards and letters asking how Helenita is doing. I finally was almost rude to my mother-in-law telling her that it is most definitely NOT Helen, and she's been great about it since. The rest of the family I've kind of given up on. Sigh. Leo even calls her Helen sometimes just to bug me. It's so annoying.

As for the weighter matters, my little sis sent me this and I've been wanting to try uploading a video for a while, and thought this would be a good place to start.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

New Pictures

At a Relief Society Auction, I "bought" a dog show for my kids. A lady in our ward brought her dog and did tricks and stuff. The kids loved it!!
This is afterward when we got home, it had rained and so they were playing in the puddles. They had played in the sprinklers earlier.
My pregnant belly, in my new shirt that I love.

And here's my two Asian girls. So cute. The picture's pretty bad, but Leo wouldn't let me take anymore because we were heading out the door for church and he didn't want to be late. I can't really blame him.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

My Future Pets

Okay, I admit I would like a Saluki dog, but that's likely never to happen--I won't be heartbroken about it. What I want even more than a Saluki are bees. Yep, that's right, I've always been fascinated by bees since I was really young (I used to catch them in my fingers, and once I had pet drone) and someday I want to have my own hive. When I told Leo about my someday pets, he looked a little disturbed. But I showed him more information on the internet (including the fact that in Britain 99% of beekeepers are hobbyists) and he actually relaxed to the idea. :)See just look at this pretty hive, it would be a great addition to my someday flower and vegetable garden. Also, did you know that there's a honeybee crisis?!??!! There is! Bees are dying in the U.S. and European countries at an alarming rate. You can read about it on BBC here (my favorite news source) or on the Haagen-Dazs Help the Honey Bee website. I might end up to be a kooky old lady in a big hat with a "Save the Honeybee" sticker plastered on my car. Maybe. And now for a bee story. One time when I was in 5th or 6th grade, Kayli and I walked up to the gravel pits in Willard where for the spring hundreds of Cox's honeybee hives were set up. We could actually hear the bees before we turned around the point in the mountain and could see them. They were so thick it literally darkened the sky (kind of like a plague from Egypt). We started walking through them at my insistence, and I thought it was fascinating. The bees landed and were all over my face and arms--I loved it!!! Kayli however, was scared and started to run, which of course scared the bees and then because I was the one left in her wake, I was stung twice!!! Rudie!! I wanted to go back, but I was informed that rattlesnakes also loved it around the hives that year and I have no fascination for snakes, especially rattlers. Needless to say, I didn't go back.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

More Pictures from Nauvoo

How rough it is to get a good family photo.

The Herr Family
Wilford Woodruff's home.
Carthage Jail

I love this picture of Ana!
The fountain was more fun than anything else.

Petting the horses.At Carthage.

Saturday, 7 June 2008


The baby was being modest yet again. And it's breech. The midwife tried to tell me it may still turn. I doubt it. This baby stays in the same postition that Elena always did. Head jabbing under my right ribs and tap dancing on my bladder. I'll cross my fingers that the baby will turn, but otherwise I see a version in my future pretty quick. Uggh. Oh well, better than a C-section.

Friday, 6 June 2008

My Letterman Countdown

I meant to write this sooner and publish it on May 31st, but this will have to do. On May 31st, my nursing license officially expired!!!! I am soooo happy!! It's not that I hate nursing, it's more that I loathe nursing. Hee. Hee. My parents were concerned that I decided to let my license expire but if it became necessary for me to go back to work I could retrain and go back fairly quickly; I know lots of nurses who stopped working while they were raising their kids and then went back. Also, if I really had to go back to work permanently, I'd go back to college and do something I want to do, like be a librarian or archaeologist or a professional genealogist or floral designer for weddings or well, you get the picture that there's a lot I'd rather do. Anyway, on to my countdown of 13 reasons why I'm so happy to be out of nursing. (Yes, it's more than Letterman's Top 10, but 13 was an appropriate number I felt.)

13. Being called racist because I asked a nurses assistant (who happened to be African American) to change an elderly man who was lying in a pool of diarrhea and being told a nurse can do that too, this is while she was eating breakfast on a break that she's only supposed to take if things on the unit weren't busy (I only took a breakfast break 3 times in the entire 9 months I worked there), meanwhile I had two calls out to doctors, 5 charts with new orders, and had only done 2 of my assessments on the 8 patients I had that day (usually I would have had them all done by that time of the day), and I was sweating I was going so fast and things were so busy and of course, none of my charting was done. (This is another reason why I refuse to ever live in the South again--our unit in Phoenix was like the UN, I never had problems with anyone ever. Even in NM where half the staff was Navajo and there were always rumors of racial tensions, I always got along with everyone. It's so pathetic of an excuse for her to use.)
12. Two weeks after starting work as an LPN, standing in a pool of blood, literally at least 3-4 ft in diameter, holding a towel to an elderly woman's head and looking at the other LPN who was pretty much like me and had no idea what to do. We called 911 and let them take her to the hospital where her head wound was stapled. All I could think to do at the time to feel the least bit useful besides applying pressure was to keep asking level of consciousness questions that we had gone over in one of my nursing classes the week before.
11. Having to clean up a bathroom that was literally sprayed with the contents of a colostomy bag. The poor, poor CNA was showering off and the janitors refused to go in till it was cleaned up somewhat. Add to that the smell of any colostomy, the smell of gangrene, and the smell of C. diff.
10. Tunneling bedsores.
9. Families of patients that bicker constantly, interrupt your work constantly to ask the same questions that another sibling has just asked, and can't understand why their 98 yr. old father best option is not intensive physical therapy rehab. (Just as a side note, if your ever in that situation, write down all your questions, set a time with the nurse where you can talk and then let her do her work the rest of the time. It's not so bad when it's just one patient's family, but I've had where it was two or three families and it just makes it impossible to accomplish anything for those patients or any other patients.)
8. Wiping the bottom of a 30-something morbidly obese diabetic patient because they can't reach and listening to them complain about you not giving them the 4 icecreams they requested and trying to think of polite way to tell them that they had already eaten all the icecreams on the entire unit along with all the jello, chocolate milk, and graham crackers, and hadn't the whole pizza they just ordered to the floor and eaten in one sitting filled them up?
7. Permanently wrecking my right shoulder (I still can't sleep on that side) by lifting quadriplegics etc. that were double my weight.
6. Being yelled at because I wasn't pushing in the dilaudid fast enough by a patient that was receiving a 7 mg dose every three hours (that would probably kill me, to give you some perspective). Having that patient come back month after month for undiagnosable pain (we concluded it was whenever the price of street drugs went up.)
5. Having my chest groped at while putting on a condom cath for the fifth time that night which had "somehow" come off. I have to admit that although technically it would not be considered good practice, I finally had the man put in restraints because the CNA and I were so sick of it. You can add to this one being offered money for well, something I won't go into details about.
4. Seeing a baby born at 24 weeks with the teenage mother so high that she had no clue what was going on and the baby's father who was at least 60 and hadn't taken a bath in what smelled and looked like months yelling at us to give the baby whiskey to fix it. We finally asked him to leave the nursery.
3. Applying pressure to the groin area of a man for 10 minutes after the removal of a line (all of his other veins were too scarred from drug use to be any good) while his wife and girlfriend argued in the room and he still had the gall to make passes at me. He had by the way tried to commit suicide by drinking several packs of beer and antifreeze. Any psych patient.
2. Having a patient's leg amputated after infection in the bone set in on an ankle fracture that had required pinning. This was right after I started working at this nursing home and I was doing dressing changes on the wound on her ankle and although the skin was healing nicely, it just didn't feel right. Anyway, I asked the charge nurse (who had 20+ yrs experience--this was the start of my second year as an RN) and she didn't seem that concerned at all. I did call the patient's orthopedic surgeon twice, but they said she had an appointment in a couple weeks and they'd see her then. By then, it was much to late. A year later, I had barely stopped doing dressing changes on the stump and she was starting to walk a few steps with a prosthetic limp. This is one reason why nursing made me much more forceful to get attention when I think it's needed.
1. Going to take an elderly man his meds in the late afternoon--his family had taken him out to lunch that day--and not finding him in the room, assuming he must still be out. Later I had some CNAs look to see if he was back and he still wasn't, so we checked the log book to see if his family had signed in and out, which they hadn't. I checked the room again at dinnertime, and still no sign of anything disturbed or out of place (usually whenever he was in his room he had a baseball game on). Finally after dinner, I was just getting more and more worried and just had this niggling panic in the back of my mind that we were missing something, so I went back down to his room again, opened the bathroom door and found him there in a pool of urine and deliriously rambling. It literally made me physically ill. I had him taken to the hospital to be checked out. I had no idea how long he'd been there and it was just so sad, I can't believe I didn't look there earlier.
Basically, I just really hated feeling incompetent when I didn't know something (like meds, I'm horrible about meds) and feeling so rushed that a) I can't do as good a job as I would have liked, and b) I can't show as much compassion as I would have liked (for instance this lady whose husband had a stroke and she was telling me she had filled the car with gas for the first time in her life that day, I just really felt strongly that she needed support, but I didn't have time).
Just so you don't think I'm horrid, I do have to admit that I enjoyed giving shots. Okay you still may think I'm horrid, but I just mean I did enjoy some things in the nursing field. I enjoyed changing the dressing on this one lady with necrotizing faciitis (I'd post pictures of what that looks like, but I think I'd lose readers), anyway it's this disease that eats away the skin tissue, it was across her entire abdomen and thighs. The patient was able to go to a nursing home eventually after spending months on our unit and the ICU, but she died there. I also enjoyed working on the orthopedic unit where patients three days after having a knee or hip replacement were already so happy about how much better they could move. And I did cry a bit when I said goodbye to my two favorite residents, Mrs. G. and Father H. (this Catholic priest who I imagine is a lot like what President Hinkley was like) at a nursing home I quit working at. Oh, and the sideline of working as a bartender at the same place. At one point I was giving out shots of whiskey, rum, scotch, and vodka every night to different patients.
Well, onward with full-time motherhood!!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

One Project Down

I'm nowhere near as ambitious as my cousin's wife Kristi with her thirteen projects in one week, (you can see her awesome blog by clicking here) but I did finally finish this one project. It's taken forever!!! Partly because I was waiting for scrapbooking paper to go on sale at Hobby Lobby, partly because it took forever to find fabric I liked for the cover, but mostly because I had to gather all the information, pictures, etc from other people and then translate it into English before putting it into Ana's book. Thank you Martha--I could never had made it without your help!! (I finally gathered all of Ana's school records--that kid has been to a lot of schools in her short elementary career! Several I discovered by accident as I was getting other records--nobody remembered all of them!) Anyway, it's a baby/school days/life book for Ana. When I was looking for a baby book for Elena, I didn't really like any of them--they all had info I didn't really care to add or were too expensive and plus, I wanted a School Days book, but really didn't want a lot of separate books for each kid, so I made my own.
I saved the format on the computer and I just printed it out again for Ana. I would already have started the new baby's book, but it's being a stinker and won't let me see the gender so I can't buy paper yet. Errr. Maybe tomorrow I'll get lucky. Anyway, for those of you who have not been exposed to the whole world of adoption stuff, a life book is basically a scrapbook with info on the child's life, more particularly about the adoption, birth parents, country of origin, etc. So I added some more pages (that's the brilliancy of this method) and presto, Ana has a life book too.
Here's the a sample of the school days pages. It goes up to grade 12 of course.
About the birth. Amazing I ended up with footprints of Ana, eh?
This is from Elena's book, the ultrasound page. You can see her big, pouty lips already on the last one.
Again from Elena's book--I did a page on the years before school starts. Some more of the baby book part. There's actually a lot more pages than these obviously, I just was taking photos for a random sampling.And this is Ana's life book section--a page on each of her birth parents. There's also a page on her older sister too.Ana's Catholic baptism. They say it's important in a life book to include all events, even unpleasant ones. Not that I mean being baptized Catholic is unpleasant, it's just that my sister had asked why I included that, and I just thought it added another piece to her life. The unpleasant parts might include info on why the child might have been placed for adoption to begin with, if for instance the child had been removed by CPS, etc. Ana gets two family trees! Oh, and this. This is my shopping spree the other day. The dress is for Ana--next year. Regularly $45.00, I bought it for $10.00. And the shirt is the first maternity thing I've bought this time around. Regularly $32.00, I snagged it for $10.00! I love bargains. I also love that shirt. I'll post pictures when I wear it to church on Sunday. I wish the dress came in my size too! Anyway, we'll see if I finish my other to-do projects before the baby's born. I want to finish the stockings, go through my photo albums and write captions by the photos, and if this darn baby will show it's gender tomorrow--make a baby book for he or she. Wish me luck!

Old Nauvoo

The Nauvoo Temple
On Friday, Leo, I and the kids drove down with our friend Jenny and her kids to Nauvoo in their minivan. The trip went alright. Once we arrived there Leo and I were able to got to a temple session while Jenny watched the kids. It is so beautiful inside the Nauvoo temple. It's really so amazing!!! That night after we went to "Sunset by the Mississippi"--a variety show they put on, Jenny's husband Thomas arrived.
The next day we walked all around Nauvoo and went to "High Hopes and Riverboats," "Rendezvous," (both plays) and "Sunset by the Mississippi" again. They were so much fun! The best line was in "Rendezvous," these three or four men were on stage and one asked if the rest were married, and one guy replied, "No, but I know how to take orders if that's what you mean." We were all laughing so hard all the way through. That one was put on by the senior missionaries. The variety show had a melodrama, where they held up signs to boo, hiss, etc. It was so good that none of the kids even minded going twice.
At Sunset by the Mississippi
The favorite places we visited were the blacksmith shop, the Browning gunsmith shop, the Wilford Woodruff home (Ana immediately announced to the missionaries showing the house that he was her grandfather! Hee. Hee.), and the I liked learning how they baked bread in the Living History Center.
Elena and Chloe
Leo liked learning about how they made barrels, and Ana liked the rope she made there too.
In the Wilford Woodruff Home
I definitely think Wilford Woodruff passsed on some of his genes to me, the missionaries explained that he hated being cold so he built a fireplace in every room. Ahh, that would be my kind of house! Sunday we went to church and then the Joseph Smith movie in the visitor's center. We walked around more of the houses too. And of course we walked down Parley Street to the Mississippi River.
The temple from Parley Street
Brigham Young and Joseph Smith
Ana at the Mississippi
Monday morning Leo and I took the kids swimming while Jenny when to the Joseph Smith film and then we went to Carthage. Our kids were cranky though so it wasn't the best experience. Then we drove home. The whole trip went really well except I started getting horrid allergies. Errr. Also the van didn't have air conditioning so it 90 degrees at one point. All in all though it was really great, I'm so glad we had the chance to go.
After the oxen wagon ride.

Don't I make a cute pioneer?!