Friday, February 29, 2008

Day 2...Lady Liberty!

Day two brought a harsh cold snap to NYC. Sunny, but damn cold. One look at the weather for the rest of the week and we decided to attempt to do any outdoor activities. We decided to take the ferry to the Statue of Liberty. After a VERY long line for security, we boarded the boat to Liberty Island. Rohit was gimping it, cuz he an old man and has "the gout"

One thing I wish I had pictures of was the interesting assortment of entertainers that were working the line for the ferry. First there was an African American gentleman wearing a rainbow wig and playing guitar. The most painful part of that was his attempting to get audience participation. Ouch. Next section of the line had a man playing steel drums, which is fine except he was playing TV theme songs. Mission Impossible on the steel drums. Ahhh, my life is complete. Lastly...not here is where it start to slack...was a Hispanic man signing along to a CD on a portable stereo. The song seemed sad and I wanted to belt out "Ay, ay, ay, ay, canta y no llores" which is "Sing, don't cry" in Spanish, but I held back.

Sadly, we didn't have enough time to make it to Ellis Island. I suppose it just gives us something to do next time.

We then made our way back into the city for a stop at Dylan's Candy Bar...which was at the top of Josh's list of things to do. Decked out for Easter, it was insanely expensive but very cool. There is NO way this Polack is buying Fireballs and Lemonheads for $10.99/lb. Even with a 50% off coupon, and I do love my coupons. We did buy 4 INCREDIBLE cupcakes, that we all cut up and shared over the next few days.

With our cupcakes to go, we traveled to a Mexican place that is a favorite of mine and Rohit's. By this point Josh was dragging. We made it back to the hotel to fall into a coma for the night, dreaming of decadent cupcakes.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

You lika DVDs??

Onward into our NYC adventures! Our first full day found us at ABC studios and sneaking in some pictures of Josh on the People's Court set. Since the crew was all around we could not take pictures the way I would have liked but Rohit got a few shots in for me on his iPhone. God bless technology!

And then onward to Chinatown. Home of fish markets and whispers of bootleg movies. Since bootlegs are illegal..they are not out in the open to buy, but as you walk through the crowds you hear " you lika DVD movie??" and a person is willing to wisk you away to a dark corner to show you what they are offering. Me??? Noooooo..nope, never...uh uh. Okay..but the ones I bought sucked. Okay? Happy??

Crappy, cheap fans and out-dated Chinese New Year stuff, anyone??

Rohit had been limping along all day with us, I think suffering from some food poisoning from the Thai resturant the night before. I felt badly dragging him in and out of cabs and up and down Chinatown all day...he was a real tropper.

Chinatown is starting to encroach Little Italy. They make for interesting bed fellows. We ate in Little Italy. Well, Josh and I did..Rohit spent most of it in the bathroom. Classy.

I am not sure you are suppose to eat a meatball the size of your head.

My kid and my ailing Gay.

I know, I know...way too sexy a picture. I don't know what I was thinking.

Rohit stopped into see a Chinese herbalist who gave him some herbs to cure puking and such. And me with my deaf ears had to translate between the Chinese man and the Indian. Talking every day to doctors from every land has helped me hone that skill. And as typically happens, the man thought we were a family. Yeah that olive skinned Indian made the whitest kid in America! Please now. Not only does that give me the heebee geebees but honestly that is hilarious!

We got back to the hotel to settle in for the night, let Rohit go home to rest ( or puke) and Josh and I just enjoyed our king size bed before collapsing for the next 9 hours. Isn't my kid flippin' adorable??

I'll take State Capitals for $1000 please, Alex.

So my five-year old is very strange at times and so completely random. This morning we are watching the Sesame Street movie " Follow that Bird" At one point he looks at me and says " Hey mom, I have a question"

"Okay, shoot, Sammy" And I am thinking it will be a question about the movie. Silly me.

"What is the capital of South Dakota?"

"I'm sorry. What, Sammy?"

"Mom, what is the capital of South Dakota. Come on. This isn't hard"

"Ummm...I dunno...Bismark?"

"WRONG ANSWER!! Pierre! Man, you got it WRONG!"

There you go. A lesson in geography from a five year old. I am deeply shamed. I will never be on Jeopardy now. And Alex is such a Canadian hunk.

There will now be a return to writing about my NYC adventures. Thank you!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

NYC adventures, or a slow moving train.

So in an attempt to remember all we did and saw in NYC, I will chronicle it here, as best I can.

So let's see... I used Priceline to get a fabulous deal on a hotel room. A very nice Holiday Inn Express, with free hot breakfast and free ( though often crummy) internet. Great location. Very good service. We decided to take the train, which is about a 8-9 hour ride each way. I upgraded us to "Viewliner" sleeper room. I knew I was working the night before we left so I thought it would be a good idea to be able to sleep for a few hours in private. The night before I left, work was pretty boring. I had one patient and the open "code bed" I was sure to get all my work done quickly. Now, typically I am a talker and terrible at charting. I get my patient care done, but I hate writing out my charts. B-O-R-I-N-G. But Saturday night I was on the ball. I made sure my mother was going to be out on time too. We drove in together. I even sent the supervisor up to make sure she was getting her rounds done on time. If my co-workers saw her in the hallway, she would say "Tell Heidi I am done with midnight rounds before anyone else started them! I will be out on time!" My mother is one fabulous nurse and due to her being quite conscientious and sensitive, she often gets behind due to being pulled into impromptu therapy sessions and the like. And, like me, she knows EVERYONE, so typically she finds a connection with her patients and they chat her ear off all night. I was having NONE of that jazz. I work until 7 or 7:30am and my train left at 10am. My mother was ( GASP!) was even out early at 7 am! Miracle of Miracles!! Wahhooo!!

So what happens?? Yup. A code blue at 5:35. Fabulous. I was panicking. The patient didn't come down until after 6:30, when day shift started. And of course, my friends Sue and Lisa made sure they jumped in and I was out on time. Of course, my train was late. We didn't leave until close to 11. By that time I had been up for 27 hours. I was a hurting dog. Josh was he usual chatty self and I had a HUGE Tim Horton's coffee. Let me just say, I never drink coffee. And I tasted it all day as my body's punishment to me for attempting it. I felt badly, but I needed to tell Josh to leave me alone until lunch, you know, a whole whopping 2 hours of sleep later.

The ride was quite pleasant and much quieter than I would have thought. Our car was the size of a decent closet. Private, temperature controlled by us, ample beverages for us nearby and meals included. As in my lot in life, I was seated with a yappy man for lunch. Why does everyone feel the need to talk to me and tell me their life philosophy? I swear, I have that "please talk to me" face. I wanted to say "dude. I have had 2 hours of clickety-clack sleep for the last 2 days. I can actually feel my brain rubbing inside of my skull. Please don't tell me how to best learn the guitar." But I didn't. I listened. I asked questions. I looked interested. I ate fast.

Actually, even with leaving late, stopping in Rochester for fuel and changing engines( from Diesel to electric) in Albany, we got to NYC a bit early. For those of you who have not traveled by train, let me tell you how much easier it No security to go through, quick baggage checking, you can take anything you want on board. It takes a bit longer, but Josh and I actually really enjoyed it. Our car had it's our attendant for the trip. That was a nice touch too. She made sure we had drinks, pillows, answered all our questions, let us know where we were about 30 mins outside NYC and was just generally helpful and pleasant. I even dashed off a note to Amtrak about her.

In general though, the trip there was a blur as I was so incredibly exhausted, but chatty Josh-man kept me upright and conscious.

After gathering our luggage and such, my friend Rohit met us at Penn station. We grabbed a cab ( Josh's first!)

Our hotel was only about 4 blocks from Penn station but with the luggage and such we decided to cab it would be best and since it was nighttime, we asked the driver to take us the long way...through Times Square. Josh was adorable and couldn't wait to be let loose there to shop and see the lights. However for both of us, it was an early night, dinner at a great Thai place and off to bed. Visions of Times Square in Josh's head.


Friday, February 22, 2008

do not adjust your links...

I am once again slacking on the blog thing. And I don't want a cyber-spanking from Robin! ;-) My 11 yr-old Josh and I are still in NYC and will be heading home late tomorrow. We are doing to many things, walking so much and having such a good time, that by the time we get to the room we are beat and we sleep like rocks. Tonight is the third show in our Broadway viewing this trip. We saw Hairspray on Wed, Young Frankenstein last night and Mary Poppins tonight. Not to mention touring the Empire State building, The Natural History Museum, Times Square, Chinatown, the Statue of Liberty and I am sure a few other things I am leaving out.

I promise a detailed report and pictures. The internet connection, though free, is flaky at best here. Uploading of photos is not an option here. And really what is a travel post without good travel shots? Right?

I will return, on Sunday most likely with photos and the tales of Josh's first time in the City that Never Sleeps.

Just hang in there and don't abandon me!! I will be back to an irregular blogging schedule VERY soon!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Brought to you by Gillette

"Mommy, did you know that animals have special parts of their body to protect them?"

"I do know that, Sammy. Like frogs that have poison on their skin or porcupines with their sharp quills"

"Just like you, mommy. You have "spikies" all up and down your legs to protect you!"

Nice. Thanks. Self protection is a personal mission. I do a fabulous job of it in the winter.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

When "I will punch you in the face" really means "I love you, mom"

Today was a busy one on the appointment calendar. All three boys had dentist visits today. Josh began his long road with orthodontal torture and Zach needs all 4 wisdom teeth out. I was highly stressed about taking Sammy. He has the reputation of being difficult and INCREDIBLY stubborn, but he was a rock star. He followed every instruction perfectly. The hygienist just loved him. His biggest problem with the experience was not talking long enough for them to clean his teeth. I wonder where he gets that trait? Hmmmm... Oddly, he only began to cry when we had to leave. A weird thing for the office staff to hear a kid screaming " don't take me! I wanna stay here!" He is a strange ranger.

In the midst of all of our travels today, it began to snow. It does that in Buffalo. I think there was some "Winter Storm Warning" thing, but really, I don't pay much attention to that kinda stuff. You live here, you have things to get done, you learn to drive in it and deal. I think this is my 18th winter of driving in this crap, and it still blows every time. It took us quite a while to make out stop at the vision center. The snow is steadily falling. By our last stop it was quite the storm. After we loaded the car up and even though we had been in the store only 2o mins, the car was completely covered. I got the brush out to clean off the car when Zach returned from returning the cart and told me he would finish cleaning off the car.

"Nah, Zach, I got it. Get in the car"

"Mom, if you don't give me that brush I am gonna punch you in the face!"

That made me smile. Cuz he loves me. He takes care of me. Maybe we don't talk to each other like every other household, but we do understand each other.

We took our time and got home safely. My children are praying for a snow day, with Josh flushing ice cubes down the toilet for the kind favor of the SNOW DAY gods. What moron told my kid this insanity?

I kinda hope they have off too. I love when they are home with me, so much I could punch them in the face. All of them.

Saturday, February 9, 2008


So my kid says today "Um, mom, you are totally slacking on the blog thing, huh?"
But this one is gonna be boring...

sigh...yes, yes I am. I have slept an unusual amount of sleep for me. I am a chronic insomniac, since my early teens or so. Typically I get about 4 hours of sleep a day. Of course working nights doesn't help that either, but I actually think it helps me deal with that type of schedule a bit better as well. So I go for weeks like that, sleeping only 3-5 hours and then I get a "catch-up" day or two. In those days I can't get enough sleep. the last two days have been like that for me. Tonight I work night again and no doubt I will go back to my "normal" non-sleeping schedule.

I did get some of my trip planned this week. Josh and are are heading to New York City for President's week break. Josh's list of must-dos is growing every day. We are taking the train, a first for both of us. We will even have our own room on the train, which is good as I am working Saturday night, getting off work at 7:30am and catching a 10am train. I can sleep half way to the Big Apple. I used Priceline for the first time also and got a good deal in a hotel for the week. Josh is really looking forward to this trip, just the two of us.

I only wish it was a warmer time of year, so Josh and I could get lost in Central Park like Zach and I did our first trip there together. Good times. When Zach and I called for help to my gay's assistant..she told me to head south. Did she think I was holding a freakin' compass?? I was a girl scout for a minute thousands of years ago and I know I never used a compass. I am not an outdoor-sy girl. I like room service and 350+ thread count sheets. I have no use for trailblazing.

And yes, I have a gay. His name is Rohit. He an Indian...with a dot a feather. He is currently living and working in NYC. I will be using him as my personal tour guide for the trip. Josh wants to actually do touristy things, whereas Zach was more of a "get the experience of just being in New York" kinda guy.

We are planning a trip to the Empire State building, the Museum of Natural History, Chinatown, Time Square, catching a show, Ellis Island, the Aquarium, eating funky foods and walking until we collapse. Since I will have very little sleep on the day of our arrival, I am worried about being crabby. It is a VERY rare event but VERY possible when you mix travel and sleeping on a train with an 11 year old. So the night of our arrival we will keep it low key, getting dinner and just showing Josh a bit of the city. The next day...we get on with the action.

The only thing I am worried about is leaving Sammy home. He is quite attached to me right now and when I leave for work he has been asking "Mommy, will I ever see you again??" A week away might be a bit much for the little man. I am hoping it goes smoothly for Adam. Sammy Satan can be make for a stressful week. I will hafta make it up to all of them when I get back.

Off to think about getting ready for work. Only two more days to put in before Josh and I are off...yikes, so much to do and so little time. My buddies are on tonight which makes the day (night) that much better.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Like freakin' Gulliver in Lilliput

So I am having this affair with my heating pad. I do have one often actually, due to a torn and will-never-heal tendon tear at my neck-shoulder connection. Lifting 400+ lb people day in and day out will do that to you. My father once asked me "don't you have orderlies?" Yes, and I wear a white dress every day and I am addressed as Nurse Heidi. Hello! This is not Marcus Wellby, pops. There is me and my fellow nurses. And people need to be turned, pulled up, picked up off the floor, walked, wrestled and tied down. These are facts. My floor happens to be luckier than most , we have several men that work with us. Big strong men, who are almost as strong as some of us girls.

But todays heating pad love fest is not because of work, like you would think. Nope, mine has to be more strange. Last night, it was late and I shut down the house. While waking to my bedroom I tripped and fell over a pirate ship and in the fall I reached out to brace myself and got a castle in the gut. Thankfully "Old West Town" playset was in the basement, than I would have hit my head on and been in a coma staring Clint Eastwood and John Wayne. Hardly glamorous. I am a klutz, this much is true, but I should be safe from the attack of the little people in my own living room. Damn kids. Damn me for not picking up their crap, I guess.

So I am broken and took enough Mortin to numb me. If I start to puke blood, you will know why. Lovely thought that. I have to heal myself up for work tomorrow. There is sure to be at least one trip to radiology in my near future. I spend quite a lot of my time in CAT scan. Our patients in the ICU need to be taken in their bed with a nurse or two, a cardiac monitor and quite often with one of us manually breathing for then with an ambu bag until we can get then back to the ventilator. It takes more time to make the strenuous journey than it does to do the CAT scan.

I am glad to be getting back to nights for a bit. There is just too....much during the day. Too many people touching my charts, too many people in and out of my rooms. I am a ICU nurse, we have power issues. Some of us keep it in better than others. Some of us are just insane. Some of us are medicated. We like to be in control of the patients and anything involving them. It is after all my license. Scary to think that with one wrong programing of an IV pump or one little sign of danger missed, and it can be fatal for my patient. It has happened to many good nurses. That little bit of fear is a good thing though, it makes you think a bit harder and not be cavalier about the care we give.

And I am glad to get back with the co-workers I am so fond of. One of my friends Sue said she tells her family " I am going to work to be with my REAL friends" True enough. I feel the same way. Everybody now...

Where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
You wanna be where everybody knows
Your name.

Imagine this chick saving your life. Scary! All 5 feet of her! She might even sing in your room, if you are lucky!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Well, I taught them to be honest

"Sammy do you love me?"

"Mommy,you are the one I love most in the whole world"

"Do you love Daddy too?"

"Sure I do, but you are the one I love most"

"Okay, but don't say that to Daddy, because it will hurt his feelings"

"Ummm, I think he already knows. I told him yesterday.Or maybe last week"

Mish, Mosh.

Catching up is hard to do. I never quite get there. Such is life of an eternal procrastinator. Then you throw work in there...the night shift no less and you get a weird amount of sleep ( read: NONE) and another day of "stuff" to do.

Ah, please note my new blog header, if you would. All digital "doo-dads" used were created by the UBER-talented digital Godess Mo Jackson. Thanks so much for those of you who already noticed! ( Robin and Jen...thanks bunches!)

Work last night was decent. Again we are at full census of patients, but oddly with the full amount of staff. I dunno how that snafu happened. I was saddened to hear that one of my good friends and one outstanding nurse, Donna, will be leaving us in two weeks for another job that fits with her growing family's life. We will all miss her terribly. I hope she finds a place that appreciates how wonderful she is and one where she will be happy.

One of the funnier things that happened last night, was my patient, a gentleman in quite a lot of pain due to several fractures awoke in the middle of the night a bit confused. I am sure is was due the combination of IV pain killers I was giving him and the strange room he found himself in at 2am. He attempted to get out of bed alone,which would have been bad with all the wiring he was attached to, and my friend Lisa and I found him dangling his legs over the side rails after his bed alarm sounded. He very easily re-oriented and we got him back into bed and situated. He looked at my friend Lisa and said "are you watching the dogs? Do you like dogs?" She looked at me in a way that says "this man is still confused"

"ummm...what dogs, honey?" she asked.

"the ones on the tv right now." As he pointed to the Animal Planet dog show being replayed above our heads on his TV.

Even the patient had to laugh. "You thought I was loopy, right?"

That little guy cracked me up.

Other pieces of this and that...

I watched the movie Waitress the other morning and I highly recommend it. I will not give away too many details about it, but I will say that I watched the end, where she is handed her baby for the first time...twice. MOST EXCELLENT.

I also re-watched The Patriot. I think I forgot how brutal and violent that movie was..sheesh. It made me have a nightmare. But another outstanding movie. I do know I will miss Heath Ledger. I always liked him and the movies he chose to work on. That movie makes me cry at several points EVERY TIME. I am a wussy girl. I embrace this. Interesting fact, Harrison Ford was offered the role that Mel Gibson played in the movie, but he turned it down.
Side note: how much would it have sucked to be the guy who played the fife in the battles. it is lame FIFE and you are gonna get killed, you have NO gun. At least the guy with the flag didn't have to remember music and keep time. War is dumb. Especially if you are a fife player.

Eh, so that is a bit for now, I feel myself slipping into the insomnia state again. Blech. I must try and force a little sleep on myself. I wish one day, that I will not think so much about sleeping or my lack thereof. It is a terrible thing to suffer something that comes to easily to so may other people. But I have NEVER been a good sleeper. Just how it goes. It could ALWAYS be worse. Right?

Of course right.

Friday, February 1, 2008

A girl named Garden.

So in the dreary and dismal land of winter I knew my youngest child need to be out of the house more then I am allowing him. I freely admit I am a winter hermit, staying indoors as much as possible until it is at least 60 degrees outside, but I don't mean to force my children to the same fate. I have noticed that the times I do take him out of the house he blinks at the sun like a naked mole rat. Being that we are of Eastern European decent his skin is pasty to begin with, so it looks like I am forcing that "poor little albino boy" on a road trip.

I have also noted that Sammy is getting weird about being out of the house for longer than 15 mins. Last week at the grocery store he kept asking to go home. "we have been out long enough. My house is so nice.We need to go back to my home" I am very happy he is comfortable and content at home, but I don't want him to go all "weird shut in" on me.

So, I arranged a movie date with one of my best friends, Mary and her 4 year-old daughter Eden. It was a good excuse for us to get out and good for the kids too. They played very well together. Sammy is in NO way shy and as soon as Eden warmed up to him, they were fast friends. Sammy even tried on her high heel dress up shoes and was quite stylish.

So yes, even though it was from the house to a dark movie theater, we still got out. I would like to tell you that we saw a wonderful movie, but alas, it was Alvin and the Chipmunks. Jason Lee and David Cross should be ashamed of themselves. I enjoy both of these actors but this movie was quite LAME. The kids seemed to enjoy it well enough and we did see some decent previews. Those are what the movies are all about after all. And Mary and I ( as always) had a good time together.

All the way home Sammy told me "what a very nice girl with very good manners" his new playmate was. " I had so much fun with that girl"

"But Sammy, what is that little girl's name?"

" is a beautiful name, mom. Her name is Garden."

"Close baby, her name is Eden"

" Well, I knew it was beautiful, didn't I?"

Yes, yes you did, baby. Maybe some of that Sunday school is paying off. Let's hope. I hear exorcisms are expensive.

Save the drama for...oh wait...

Short-ish post today. I will have knock a better one out tomorrow. It is on my un-ending and eternal "to-do" list.

Today Josh came up to me and said "Mom, there is no amount of physiological counseling that will ever let me get over the horror of cleaning out the cat litter box"

Nice try. Tell Oprah I said "What's up,woman"