Sometimes we like to tell our daughter a story called "The Egg Story". It's her birth story. Which was ten years ago. sniff sniff . . anyway, we let it unfold like this.
Daddy and I loved each other soooooOOOooOOOooo much we decided to have a baby. We went to amazon.com and ordered you. A few weeks later, a package arrived. We rushed home and found your box on the porch. I ran my fingers over the big, block letters that said, "BABY GIRL: FRAGILE".
We brought you inside, opened the box and found a big egg. It was the size of a watermelon. Daddy trimmed the box, laid a heating pad down and placed you back in. There you sat, on the couch, for a whole week. Sometimes I would hear a slight whimper or see a tiny wiggle. If you stirred, I'd cover your egg with a blanket and it settled you right down. You were a good egg, even then.
Each day, Daddy and I we would sit by your egg, making sure the temperature was just right. We’d wrap our arms around you, giving you a big Daddy Mommy hug. Then, we'd settle in real close and tell you how much we love you and how we couldn’t wait to meet you. Sometimes you’d jump when we talked. I think you loved us too!
Then came the day when you couldn't be comforted. Your whimpers grew loud and your egg wobbled to and fro. I tried to hold you but I couldn't get a grip. You were just too restless. We decided to let you do what you needed to do. Daddy and I made a bed for ourselves front of the couch and waited. You were ready to be born.
You worked so hard on being born. Your egg would bob all around, rolling back and forth. We followed you from room to room, making sure you didn't roll down the stairs. Sometimes you would take a rest and your egg would get very quiet. Then things got too quiet.
Mommy was really scared. So was Daddy.
We put our ears on your egg and didn't hear anything. We jiggled you a little and you didn't jiggle back. We put the heating blanket on medium, thinking you were too cold. We sang to you, we hugged you, but you weren't stirring.
Then Daddy went down stairs and got a small screwdriver. He gentle tapped on your shell, making little cracks so you could breathe. I peeked in and saw your little head. I saw your tiny hands and baby ears. You weren’t moving and Daddy kept chipping away. He peeled back part of the shell and we scooped you out. You were soggy, bluish and covered with crisco. You were very sleepy. We held you tight, rubbing your back to wake you up. I put my hand on your heart and felt it beat. I put my cheek near your nose and felt you breathe. You started to twitch. Then you opened your mouth super wide and started to howl.
Daddy and I cried while you turned blue to pink to ruby red! We were so happy!
Then we cut your cord, cleaned you up and wrapped you in a warm blanket.
And THAT, dear Piper, is how you were born!
Monday, May 20, 2013
Sometimes we like to tell our daughter a story called "The Egg Story". It's her birth story. Which was ten years ago. sniff sniff . . anyway, we let it unfold like this.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
I can count about 4 times in my life where stress has overwhelmed me. Two of those times were school-- nurse and nurse practitioner school. It almost killed me. Both times.
Another time involved being a mom for the first time. I had NO IDEA how to handle that. My head was all explodey with feral fear for the first year.
The forth time is now. I have 5 kids. Each with their own set of needs.
Pancake, age 10, is becoming a tween and not dealing well. Life is full of challenges she doesn't know how to handle. She's growing up and growth can be very painful. Her girly huffy puffy tears--they do flow. I want to just yell at her and say, "YOU'RE SO BEAUTIFUL. JUST RELAX AND LET ALL THE AWESOME THAT GOD GAVE YOU BLOSSOM. IT'S GOING TO BE OK." Instead, I bring her to yoga, roller blade with her and make sure she has a door to lock in order to read excessively. This seems help reduce her tween meltdowns. Or space them out at least.
God help the sensitive teenage girls out there, especially my daughter.
Mac-N-Cheese is six years old, blonde and super charming. Asks really interesting questions. Hypersmart and sensitive. Still can't get the whole 'wiping his butt thing' conquered yet. Can't cross the street without his sister because he'll stop in the middle of the road to stare at a cool cloud. Has no idea where we're going half the time, but happy to be along for the ride. We're getting less notes from school about his behaviors. The male of the species is slow to develop temper control. Sometimes anyway.
God help the all boy boys out there, especially my son. God help his future wife develop patience and a light and loving heart, she's going to need it.
Sam is our part time foster kid, age 5. He's here on weekends. He's the least of our problems. We've got his behaviors pretty much under control now. Signficant reduction in palming items when we're out and about. For me, being with him is fun. Sad though. I'm not the mom he really wants. I hope his mom gets her act together. It'll take a miracle though.
God help all the boys with Moms that can't be Moms out there, especially Sam.
Tulip is our 4 year old foster daughter. We've made headway with her tantrum behavior. She is still very, very needy. I feel so guilty sometimes but sometimes I just need her off my lap. Sometimes I don't listen to her stories. Seriously, I'm worn out. The other night I told her to hush because I was watching TV and I JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE ENERGY TO HEAR ONE MORE STORY ABOUT HER MOM AND THE BELT SHE USES FOR SPANKINGS. Sometimes she uses these stories to get attention because telling me her mom 'dances upside down on a pole' is a way for a 4 year old to get attention. But, sometimes THIS MOMMY needs to watch dancing with the stars without kids on a lap because dancing with the stars is awesome! Stripper birth mommy stories can WAIT!!
God help all the little girls with mommies who don't take care of them. They won't make it far without you, especially Tulip.
AND THAT BRINGS US TO RIVER.
He's perfect so far. Seven months of chubby, baby love!!! I carry him everywhere even though he's so heavy my arm feels like it's GOING TO FALL OFF. He rarely is put down by anyone. All are agreed that is no good and much fussing occurs when it happens. This probably explains why he isn't sleeping through the night BUT OH WELL.
So this is the forth time where I've felt my wheels are spinning too fast. That life is going so fast it's getting away from me. I feel exhausted and weepy. The stress is too much. But, not matter how fast the wheels go, they don't stop. Life never stops. So, I'll wait. I know this feeling will pass. Then, I'll look back and laugh.
Each time this feeling comes around, it comes with growth in my heart. And growth makes me more capable of handing all sorts of things.
Which is kind of scary really. What more is coming down the pike?
EEEE!!!! God help Mrs. Hall!
Thursday, May 9, 2013
I want hug to all moms who've breastfed their babies. A HUG TO EACH AND EVERYONE ONE OF YOU! I want to hug the moms that breasfed their babies until their babies were kindergardners and beyond. I want to hug the moms that breastfed 100% and never once used a bottle. I want to hug the ones that breast feed twins, triplets and quads! I want to hug all of you.
I want to hug the moms that tried AND TRIED AND TRIED to breast feed and it never worked out. I want to hug the moms that held a sqwakey, crying, sleeping, hysterical, biting baby at the nipple for one minute then completely changed their mind went to the bottle. I want to hug the moms that never wanted to ever breastfeed so they didn't! I want to hug the moms that hold their babies tight and give them good bottle love. I want to hug all of you.
I want to hug the moms that drape a blanket, shawl, towel or sweater over their nursing infant in public. I want to hug the moms who let their boobies hang out, nipples all akimbo and nurse those hungry babes! I want to hug the moms that nursed in private, curtains drawn, in the back room only. I want to hug the moms that nursed in front of disapproving relatives and resturant patrons. I want to hug all of you.
I want to hug the moms that were scared, frightened and really sweaty when they nursed. I want to hug the moms that felt righteous and arrogent. I want to hug the moms that felt annoyed that every 90 minutes the baby was being launched in their direction after a mere squeek because OF COURSE HE MUST BE HUNGRY. I want to hug the moms that cried because there were so tired but it was 3 am and the baby wanted the booby love. I want to hug the moms that have sore boobies and then their husbands have the nerve to try second base. I want to hug all of you.
I want to hug the moms. ALL THE MOMS!!! BECAUSE BEING A MOM IS HARD. Feeding your baby doesn't have to be. I promise!! You can feed them however you want and it'll be awesome!!
And now, let me type this without having a snot bubble cry.
My first baby was born via emergency c-section. Nursing her went well for two days in the hospital. It didn't go well after that. Shredded nipples, scared new mom . . . :(
My second baby nursed LIKE A CHAMP. Hungry, hungry, hungry. He was in boobie heaven all the time. And he was effecient. He ate till he had his fill and then popped off like a tick! I would still be nursing him but around 4-5 months I want back to work full time and didn't have a door to lock while I pumped. Sigh, he was such a good nurser.
My third baby. . . we just finished nursing. He was a putzy nurser and could be latched onto me 24/7 if I would let him. I loved it though. I nursed him everwhere-our house, in the car at road stops, the mattress store, relatives' houses, hotel rooms, pool side, target, the kid's museum, in front of social workers, in front of our foster kids, at the doctor's office, parks and resturants.
I'll always remember having him on my lap, nursing shawl intact and nursing him while eating my lunch at a resturant. When I was done, he was too. The waitress said, "Now everyone is done eating." I wanted to hug her too!
I'll always remember the nap and nurse. It's when you attach your baby and you both sleep. All snug. Best baby love ever!!
I loved pumping at work too. I had a locked office door that I put a sign on while pumping. It said, "DO NOT DISTURB. I'LL BE WITH YOU IN 10-15 MINUTES." I loved tracking how many ounces I pumped and delivering it home for mah baby!
But . . . everything has a season. And our season of nursing is done. He's eating more food, less milk. The boy has teeth and is all chewing everything. So, I slowed the pumping down and well . . we're done.
AND. . . there are A MILLION OTHER WAYS I LOVE ALL MY BABIES. Just like the rest of the moms out there!
HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY ALL!!!
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The blog, she is neglected lately. I just don't have the inner tormoil I use to have. No inner conflict to write about. Plus, there is facebook. I document my life there so here is neglected.
BUT. I am still a busy bee. Being a wife, mom, nurse and now foster mom.
I love being married. I love being Mrs. Hall. We've been married 12 years now and he still rings my bell. No better way to start my day then standing in the kitchen, holding hands with him and praying. Love it!
3 kids now
She is so smart and kind. Very much her own girl. Owns a cornsnake, likes bugs and dirt. READS CONSTANTLY. Goes to Zumba and yoga with me and we do inverted headstands together. Starting to show some tween tendencies of self consciousness and shyness. My plan is to use prayer and yoga to GET HER THROUGH THE TEEN YEARS. That and making sure she has plenty of time with her girlfriends so they can be silly and giggle and giggle and silly. She's such a jokster!
Every morning we say 'MAC GET DRESSED!' and 'MAC, EAT YOUR OATMEAL.' Ten minutes later we'll find him sitting there, shirt on backwards, having taken two bites of oatmeal lost in his own little world. He'll smile and say, "If twins don't live in the same house, do they have the same birthdays?" or "How do arrows know how which way to point?" He's a thinker that one. A silly, jokster thinker who never sits still. Like if Plato was a hummingbird.
River-age 5 months
OH THIS BOY OF MINE. I am over the moon with him. So squiggly, so smiley, so baby chubby thighs and giggles. The photo says it all!
Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practioner actually
I still have crazy patients and moral dilemas, but there are less so these days. I have found a groove and really enjoy my work. I get to guide people through their crisis and help them heal. It's humbling work. I am very blessed.
The abstract idea of 'being a foster family' started as a whisper in my heart. I heard the whisper, talked it over with Mr. Hall and we prayed. We prayed to let God guide us, let him reveal the opportunity and we would answer his call.
I can't help but giggle about it all. I can't believe how God has changed me through this process. Being a foster mom comes with so many challenges. But challenge makes the heart grow. Our family system has changed too. The kids are use to the other kids that come into our life. They adjust and grow too. Sometimes it's not pretty but in the end, it's amazingly beautiful.
So far, one child has been with us for over a year (on weekends). Another came here a few weeks ago.
It's a task of loving without expectation. We never know when these kids might leave our life. So we love them now, while they're here. We don't know what will happend. So we give them hugs and prayer and warm meals. These kids are great and challenging. I hope OH I HOPE they benefit from seeing Mr. and Mrs. Hall loving each other and treating each other right. I hope they feel God's love.
And it's not just the kids. These kids have bio-moms and bio-grandmas. They are hurting too. Sometimes the bio family members call and it's totally awkward. We help the kids make art projects to bring on their family visits. We send photos and emails. We say, 'he had a great time at the zoo this weekend' or 'She really liked going to the library with us.' We keep things light and positive in one of darkest situations ever.
It's the ultimate task of not judging. Because God didn't call to us to judge, He called us to be shining examples of His light and love.
that's my comings and goings. howzit with yous?
Sunday, February 10, 2013
First, can I just put a plug in for naps. I love naps. LOVE THEM.
And can I put in a plug for nurse naps where you can nap and nurse your newborn? LOVE THEM TOO.
This is what I do instead of blogging. The nurse nap.
Gotta a call from the county social worker that they might have a 4.5 year old boy to adopt. It's not the same boy we've been watching for almost a year. This boy is sight unseen. My head and heart exploded for about 12 hours after we got that phone call. We didn't expect to be asked to adopt anyone. We just got our 'official foster care family' papers last week. Yes, i know we've been doing the foster care for about a year but legal is relative sometimes. See what I did there--legal/relative/foster family.
It's all a web people, all a web in the head of Mrs. Hall.
We get the call and my head explodes. I try to keep the crazy energies down and fail. I cry at work thinking about this little boy and this crazy joy goes BOOM in my heart. Because if this is God calling us to adopt then of course we'll say yes. Mr. Hall says, "Slow down chick a dee" and "there is a lot to think about" and I can't hear because I'm already painting the 4.5 y.o.'s room in the theme he'll like. Maybe he like's spongebob instead of cars. hmm . . . .
The first step in this is to set up a meeting with the social worker to discuss things. I email her, she emails me. Then I get the email that things might have changed, we'll have to hold off on the meeting for now. Which is part of this foster gig. Anything can change at any moment. I've never learned such flexibility.
SO I TALK WITH MR. HALL
We are light and airy about it. I ask him if he's ok with the sudden change. He says yes," I'm not a chick.
Women rise and fall quickly about these things. I'm slow to rise. And just because she canceled the meeting doesn't mean it's over yet. "
And indeed. It's not over by a long shot!
Thursday, February 7, 2013
it's a snowy day and none of my patients are showing up. had two cups of coffee. so here. let me blog a bit.
at work it's getting ugly. one of the older nurses is retiring and I'm absorbing some of her responsibilities. (did i spell that right? frigging browser isn't compatible with blogspot so i can't spell check things. but screw them i'm not paying for a domain name!)
ANYWHO. guess who is liquored up and pissed off at me. THE OLD NURSE. there's an expression. Nursing eats it's young. Older nurses hate younger nurses and dammit. The tension is pitiful. She basically called a meeting to complain that her responsibilities are being taking away. Which is not my fault. I'm not retiring or deciding how to divide up her work tasks. But she directs all this crazy ugly crap at me and I NO LIKE!!!
my main coping mechanism for work conflict is to avoid.
AVOID AVOID AVOID. Hide in office. Say nothing. AVOID!!! POKER FACE!!!!
This riles people. The calmer and more remote i get the more they act up. So I went to my boss and fessed up to my feelings. He said avoiding just makes things worse. And get's nothing accomplished.
So i sucked it up and at lunch in the lunch room today. I didn't talk much but sat and listened to someone prattle on and on about stuff. I work with women. Bunch of talkers. It exhausts me.
Because I have a real life. filled with kids and now we are officially a foster family. I have some much joy and happiness in my real life.
i hate when work sucks.
bible study was also cancelled tonight. and i even did the homework and everything.
which helped with the work conflict. a lot! ;)
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Somewhere in the middle of the night, my husband's brain sent ten thousand signals to his leg. Each signal screaming , "CRAMP DAMMIT!! CRAMP LIKE THE WIND!!! CRAMP THE CRAP OUT OF HIS CALF!!"
Now, this was not my brain. My brain was sending different signals. Some of which included, "CAN YOU BELIEVE RIVER IS SLEEPING??!! HE'S ONLY 12 WEEKS!! I MEAN, IT'S 3 AM, MAYBE YOU SHOULD WAKE UP AND GO CHECK ON HIM."
Which is how I found myself half asleep noticing my husband writhing and twisting next to me.
"Cramp . . . left leg. . . CRAMP!!" he yell muttered.
"Whaaa?" I mumbled.
"LEG... MESSAGE MY LEG, IT'S CRAMPING!!"
So, naturally I reached for his shoulder and began to squeeze it.
"NO!! MY LEFT LEG"
I reached for an arm. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what was his left and my right. And try as I might I began to fall back asleep.
"HOLLY!!! THE.LEFT.LEG!! THE CALF!!", he full on yelled. And started to punch my leg. As if to demonstrate where a leg is.
"Jeez, settle down! You'll wake the baby!", I murmured.
I finally figured out where his left calf was. It felt horrible. Like the muscle was trying to taco outward from the bone. But, it was too late by then. The cramp was dying and the only thing left was after pains. Which doesn't feel good when rubbed.
So. There ya go. That's the news with me.
What's news with you?
All killer, no filler
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The Biography of the Blog wing
Feel the love people, feel the love
Five questions for Mrs. Hall
The Nurse Wing
Minority status as viewed by a nurse
Crackhouses as viewed by a nurse
Crazy old people stories as viewed by a nurse
Addicts as viewed by a nurse
Hey NURSE: Stories from my time at the County Jail
Hearing the Soldier's Story as viewed by a nurse
Machismo as viewed by a nurse
The Wing of Mr. Hall's favorites
Love you Pancake Wing
Love you Pancake