Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Blue Mountain Parkway

On our drive back from Nikki's house, we got off the interstate to ride for a few hours on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was this winding, narrow road that went WAY up thru mountains and stuff- it was terrifying but also incredibly beautiful. I'm not sure if this is in TN or VA, but we stopped at one of the pull-offs on the parkway to hike around this little creek and show the kids a waterfall- it was breathtaking! When I was little, we lived in northern California and my dad was always taking us out on road trips to see this kind of thing, so it was a great experience for me to finally get to do it with my own babies. It just made me want to get to Seattle even faster!!! This is Nick and the kids on the little train track bridge- by the way, Scott was LOVING the train tracks!!!And me and Scott hiking... Nick is very far ahead of us at this time. Apparently hugely pregnant doesn't equal graceful.
Ava standing on a different part of the track.
See the waterfall? It's sorta small, but come on, this was literally just somewhere we pulled off the road to explore. I'm just now noticing he death grip I have on Ava. Guess I thought she was going to tumble down the mountain.
Nick letting Ava feel how cold the water is...apparently he's not so worried about her. It was mid sixties outside even though this was Dec 27th, but they both said that water was like ice. Duh!

And this was about twenty minutes later.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Work Woes

I had such a crap day at work that I have to talk about it or I'll just lay in bed obsessing all night. It was ridiculous! We had like thirty three patients (we usually have about twenty six) and my room was scheduled really bottom heavy, so I just sat around doing nothing all morning and then got slammed at like eleven o'clock. AND I had to share my corpsman with the nurse in the room next door, so I was pretty much flying solo in my room. Which really isn't THAT big a deal, but it just added fuel to the fire that I had to start all the IVs, access all the central lines, and do all the vitals. I just woulda liked a LITTLE help with some of that. So all four chairs needed something at the same time, including an IV and labs on this really hard little old lady. So I get the IV (first try) and I'm so excited about that, then come over to my station to print the labels. And it's all downhill from there! I keyed in her name, but never hit 'apply' so when I printed three labels, they were for the last patient that I'd printed! So I send down this little old lady's blood with someone else's label! That's a HUGE deal in hospitals. So when I get the printout and see the wrong name, I'm literally like throwing up I'm so upset. Well, not literally. And they've already done everything in the computer under the wrong patient's name, so now that other patient has lab values that don't belong to her in her chart. In four and a half years of nursing, I've never done this! So I'm crying, and my coworkers are laughing and saying it's not that big a deal (our boss is on leave) and the lab tech is calling to get all the info to write me was just a disaster! I mean, no patients were harmed, just the little old lady was delayed in treatment for an extra forty five mintues. It sucks for these poor people, by the way, who have to come up here, get labs done, wait for the results, then wait for the pharmacy to mix the chemo, all for a push that literally takes less than a minute. I'm obviously SO GLAD no one I know personally has cancer!!! But, now that I've vented, I guess I can see that it's not that big a deal. And now I'll follow the rules and check the labels with the patient instead of just double inititaling by myself and sneaking them off! Isn't that the point, to learn from your mistakes? And after work, we met Ryan and Melissa and baby Nathan at my favorite restruant, Buffalo Wild Wings, and after that I went to Carter's to use my coupon for thirty dollars worth of FREE CLOTHES, no strings attached. So all in all, I guess today was blessed. Forgive me if I'm still a little peeved.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Day

Well Christmas has finally come! And then gone, so quickly! Luckily for me, my kids are still too little to get up super early for Christmas, so they slept in a little and we all made our way out to the living room around seven thirty. Ava remembered how fun it is to tear the wrapping paper off and see what goodies are hidden inside, but Scott took a little coaxing. Just a little, then he was like "what? I'm allowed to DESTROY all this paper! AWESOME!" They both got good and spoiled since my mom was there, on top of all the gifts from the Engelbrechts down in Florida...not exactly sure where we're going to keep all this stuff! For those of you who don't know, we live in a little tiny fifteen hundred square foot two bedroom house. So. But I'm not complaining because I know how blessed we are to have such a wonderful family to spoil our babies! Thanks everyone for thinking of them, and for thinking of me and Nick, who did pretty well too! Here's Ava and Scott with their first presents of the morning...And Daddy with his new cotton candy machine...we're trying to start a carnival, I think. We've already got the popcorn machine, now we just need something for hot dogs and funnel cakes!
Here is cousin Mia showing off her magnet "paper" dolls that Scott got her and Ava, and I'm in the background admiring my new diamond earrings!!! Scott with one of his four new tool sets...
Examining the T-ball set that I've wanted for so long!
And later, Scott was getting a little overwhelmed while the girls played downstairs (they're so mean to him!) so we brought him upstairs and let him try out the cotton candy machine. While Nick was circling the stick around the machine, Scott would open his mouth wide and sort of follow the stick around. It's hard to explain, but trust me, it was cute.
So now Christmas is over :( You keep hearing about how stressed people get, and they're so glad when it's over and all that sort of stuff on the Today show, but I thought it was a blast! I always hate to see it go. That being said, it was FREEZING most of the time in Tennessee, and since we'll be between homes next Christmas (Nick will be done with school in Connecticut at the beginning of December) I'm starting to think that an island Christmas might be kind of fun. Get a little Jimmy Buffet experience...I'll let you know how that goes over with the families!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Eve

We've never spent a Christmas away from home (I've never been able to take the time off of work) so I made a point to try and keep as many of our little traditions as I could, even though we're a little out of sorts in my sister's house. So on Christmas Eve, I got out all the supplies I packed as we started baking cookies as soon as we got up. Ava has always loved to help me cook, and Mia was just as natural in the kitchen. Poor Scott is getting a cold, so he was snuggling with Daddy and keeping away from the food this time.
And here's another shot of me and Arika- I just can't believe we're pregnant together! It's been so fun hanging out this week.
You all know how much of a stickler I am for our routine, so Ava and Scott have been taking their naps after lunch every day. I thank God every single day that I was such a Nazi about it when they were infants, because now, they can each go with the flow better than most kids I know, just because they know what to expect next, even when we're far from home. It doesn't make sense to me that being strict about routines yields flexible kids, but hey. I'm a total believer. Here's my little son with his train in the pack and play...
And Ava with her baby Nathan and Mia's matching baby Jacob.
And we each get to open one present on Christmas Eve before we go to bed, so here's Ava and Scott, who are just excited to be allowed to tear paper.
And Ava and cousin Mia saying good night. Tomorrow is Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


On Tuesday, we headed to Pigeon Forge to visit Dollywood. We've been a few times before, but I think I underestimated what a difference it makes when it's so cold! Ava and Scott thought it was really funny to be all bundled up with hats and scarves and gloves and blankets in the stroller, and I'm so big that I'm always hot anyway, so it really wasn't that bad. We got to see the shows and ride the racecar ride and see the parade and the Christmas tree light show. The only downfall was that my sister Nicole had to work and couldn't come, but Mia got to spend a fun day with her dad and cousins. Here's Ava and Daddy at the end of the night...And here's Daddy and Scott when we first got started in the morning. Dollywood is beautiful all year long, but it's really amazing over the holidays!
Ava is making sure that we can all see her gloves here. I have this picture from a few years ago somewhere, it's me and Nicole and Ava and Mia when Ava was about six months, right in this spot. So I thought it would be fun to do it again two and a half years later. It really makes you realize how fast it's going.
Grandma, Aunt Arika, Ava, and Ava's gloves. We used the new stroller Arika got for Baby Brody so she could start getting used to having to fold it and stuff. And because my little Maclaren would have been impossible to keep her bundled in. Thanks Arika!
Uncle Andy and cousin Mia in front of the main tree... And Grandma and Aunt Arika...And me and Arika and a sound asleep Scott right before we left.
And my favorite shot of the day (I don't know why). This was just some random toy soldier walking around and I have no idea why, but neither one of them were afraid of him! Ava gave him a hug from her stroller, and even Scott shook his hand! When they saw him again during the parade, they seemed a little confused about why he wasn't hanging out with them again though! It was really sweet. This will be the big thing I remember from this day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tennesse Vacation Starts

Well we finally made it to Tennessee to spend Christmas with the Zandees! This is a pic of me and my little sister Arika, who is expecting her first baby on Feb 18th, two weeks before me. I'm pretty bummed because what good was that year I spent on labor and delivery if I can't even be a labor coach for my baby sister? But there's NO WAY I can risk traveling then, so maybe I can help out on the phone. Ohh, how nice it was to be pregnant with my first! Notice how much smaller Arika is than me in this shot. Ava and Scott really took it out of me though, and this baby has more than made himself at home in that giant belly of mine. Arika is having a boy too, but I think she's carrying like she's having a girl. Maybe it's just because she's so skinny to start with. My sister Nicole has a daughter exactly one year older than Ava named Mia and Mia LOVES her baby dolls! The first thing Ava did was run in and start getting all her babies settled in Mia's swings and high chairs and cribs.
That's Mia on the rocking horse that my grandfather made for the girls (we have one at our house too) and Uncle Andy laying on the floor playing jungle gym for Scott, who bolted as soon as I got out my camera. On Monday night, we went to the Bristol Motor Speedway to see the light show that they set up and so that Nick could drive on the track. See, minivans can be just as exciting as racecars! They have a little carnival set up in the center of the track, but it was in the teens (!) so we kept the kids in the car and just ran out to get hot chocolate. These pics are while we're waiting in line to get to the lights, we're barely moving, so I let the kids climb around.
Ava discovered the handle above the middle seats works a lot like monkey bars!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Scott's First Haircut

I wanted to let Scott have longish hippie guy hair, but it wasn't really working out the way I wanted, so I finally broke down and took him in for his first haircut. His hair is actually thicker than Ava's, but he still doesn't have very much, and he somehow always manages to have bed head and static like he just rubbed a balloon up there, so he really did need it. I just don't really like it when everyone has their little guys looking like they're on their way to boot camp, so hopefully we can grow it out later. He did really well as soon as Krista gave him this little fluffy brush (had to be pink, right?) but he wouldn't wear the cute cape they gave us! He hates bibs.
Yes, I cried. I blame the hormones. Actually, I don't. She changed him for a little tiny baby with baby hair to a little tiny man with man hair! That's sad!

Christmas Presents- Round One

We are trying to pack up for the week we're spending at my sister's house in Tennessee, so we decided to open any presents we got in the mail from Nick's family as they arrived. So last night, we got a box from Aunt Michelle and let the kids tear in!
Thanks Aunt Michelle for the clothes and the train, but OBVIOUSLY you know what the best part was...the boxes! This is the next morning, after Nick set up the train set in the dining room. I'm still asleep upstairs during this play time- thanks honey!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Still No Name

We just cannot come up with a name! It's not even that we don't agree, we just literally can't come up with one. We didn't come up with Ava until about two weeks before I went into labor, and I literally thought we'd come up with the perfect name- classic, elegant, and not that popular. Well guess what. Every single woman who had a girl in the two years after that, named their baby Ava. And being one of five Jennifer's in every classroom growing up, I just feel so awful for her! After I did all that research! And then with Scott, we knew we wanted to name him after Nick- he's actually Nicholas Scott Engelbrecht II. And this baby...nothing. I keep asking Ava what she thinks we ought to name him, and her top four names are Murray, Greg, Jeff, and Anthony. As in the Wiggles. And she shoots down everything else we toss at her. So guess what, my three year old isn't solving my problems! UGH! It's so aggravating! I feel like we need a name, that way we can start getting Scott a little more prepared. I'm not too sure he's gonna handle this very well. Ava barely batted an eye when he was born, but he's got a very...different personality. He's not going to share his mama without a fight.

Monday, December 15, 2008


When I was active duty, "weekend" never really meant that much to me, because I worked a three day every other weekend, and usually had my days off during the week, when Nick was at work. But now that we both work normal hours and days, we have normal weekends, which means they go by really quickly and we have lots of fun! This past weekend, we finally got a train to put around the tree. It lasted almost a whole afternoon before it got caught on the hearth without us noticing and burned thru the motor. Hopefully after the holidays, we can get one with a little stronger engine. Scott was having the time of his life for those hours that it was running! We got great videos of him freaking out.

Of course, he doesn't actually need a real train, he can just make one out of his cars. Or soda cans, or water bottles, or shoes... you get the idea. Friday night, we got to go eat dinner with Santa at the gym! It was pretty cute and Ava had a blast, but Scott was still scared of Santa. He kept running up to him to give him a high five, but he that was as close as he would get. This is him sticking with mama so Santa can't get him. Not sure why he's making that face.
And Ava after she waited very patiently (seriously- she was so well behaved!) in line to get her pic with Santa.
Saturday was ridiculously warm, like almost in the seventies, so we got to get outside for a few hours. It's not raining, but Ava really loves her umbrella from Aunt Michelle, but it's more of a weapon, so I only let her have it outside.

Later that afternoon, Ava and Daddy went out to lunch, and I took Scott to the mall for a few last minute Christmas gifts before we head to TN next weekend. He was so great! He's so much different when he finally gets some one on one time- it makes me feel so guilty that it happens so rarely. He just sat in his stroller and laughed and talked to me and flirted with all the older ladies at the stores... he was really a delight to be around! Of course, by the time we were done shopping, he was exhausted, even though I didn't realize it because he literally didn't whine or cry at all. I started the van, loaded him up, then went to the trunk to throw the stroller and bags in. By the time I climbed into my seat, he was sound asleep! We're talking two, maybe three minutes! Poor guy. What a good sport!