Sunday, October 30, 2011

12 pounds later

I've been baking up a storm lately, and consequently have gained approximately 12 pounds. Urgh. Curse my love of baking and my only moderately fast metabolism.


I made a coconut cake at the request of a few of my coworkers. I used my grandmother's recipe, and considering she's both Georgia born and Georgia raised, her cooking and baking could put Paula Deen in a corner. It was a success, and completely devoured by the hungry nurses I work with.

A few days prior to my coconut cake undertaking, I made whoopie pies. They were also extremely well received (I fed them to my Bible study group to which one of the guys asked, "Hollie, have you ever died before?" I was bewildered by this question, until he then followed with, "Because I think I just died and went to heaven when I ate this deliciousness." Goofy kid.)

The one, lonely left over pie. I actually have a fantastic tip for some quick and easy whoopie pies....

I had a coupon for this "new" cake mix that includes filling in the box. I had originally intended to make creme-filled cupcakes until I realized that I don't have a regular sized muffin pan (how did that happen?!). Mini? Sure! Regular? Not a chance. So comes in the whoopie pie. Make the batter as indicated on the box, but spoon it out like a cookie onto a well greased sheet pan. Bake about 10-12 minutes at the temperature listed on the box and magically, you have fluffy, cakey, whoopie pie-like cookies. Once they're cooled, give them a good coating of filling and smush them into a cookie sandwich. Good times.

So my sister is in town this weekend, which has been awesome! It's her first trip to Rockport and I think we've broken her in pretty well. She even had a breakfast taco while here, just like any good Texan. We've stayed busy more so with church activities than anything, but it's also been a little chilly this weekend, so sunbathing wasn't really in the cards. She and I share a penchant for baking and so we tackled cake pops on Friday and cinnamon rolls on Saturday.

I can't be the only one gaining 12 pounds here. Just sharing the wealth.

We shared the cinnamon rolls with our ms/hs sunday school classes today and obviously, they were also well received. We made a batch of 60 and left the church with 6. One thing is for certain: if you bake it they will eat.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sharing the wealth

I've done this blog thing for a while and have picked up a few must-read blogs along the way. So I figured it's about time to share the wealth. Call me a stalker if you will, but I could spend a significant amount of time reading other people's blogs. Maybe it's because i've become a major homebody or maybe it's just because I like to relate with other people. Either way, I have quite the list of blog reads and they all make my day when I see new updates. Feast your eyes on some of my favorite blogs!

(In no particular order)

Erika is a girl I went to high school with and in many ways I feel like we're kindred spirits. Maybe it's just the haircut or maybe I'm just a kook. Either way, her blog is funny and real and I always thoroughly enjoy reading it. Although we (meaning the hubs and I) aren't currently trying to have children, I understand what it feels like to be the last person on earth who isn't pregnant or already with children. A well-meaning lady patted my belly today and asked where the baby is. Your guess is as good as mine, ma'am.

2. And Erika's blog led me to The 24 Year Age Gap.

Ok, so this girl doesn't know me from Adam. But let me tell you, her blog is HILARIOUS. I find myself laughing aloud almost every time she has a new posting. She doesn't seem at all interested in being politically correct, but truly says what everyone else is already thinking (I mean, just look at the picture. Totally hilarious and completely genius.).

So, I know that everyone and their cousin already read Kelly's Korner. But I like it. So there.

Three (of many) recipe blogs that I follow. Check out the recipe on Noble Pig for Caramel Toffee Fruit Dip. Oh Heavens that looks divine. Now I just need a good reason to whip some up. I love these three sites because not only do they have fun recipes, but they're easy for a little home cook/baker like myself. Which reminds me, I have to find something to do with this chicken I've taken out of the freezer for dinner.

So this is yet another person who almost the entire planet reads, but if you are in the small minority that don't, then you should. I don't really know where this girl finds the time to have a life around all her home improvement projects, but she has got it going on. I've copied 2 of her "no-sew" window panels and regularly drool over her new lovely house things. While I may be a little gun-shy when it comes to tackling major jobs on my own, she has tons of great ideas. If there are any handy people hanging around Rockport thinking they'd like to put up some chair rail and such, hit me up.

Lastly, here's yet another girl-blogger who wouldn't have the faintest clue if given the opportunity to pick me out of a line up. This is my most recent favorite new blog as I just found it via Kelly's Korner. And then I spent a few hours catching up on the last year of this girl's life. Kinda weird and lame all rolled into one. Anyway, she, her husband, and child are currently living in the Middle East and her blog is all about life over there. Which goes without saying is a world of different from my life here in America, which makes things interesting.

So go check out these lovely blogs! And if you're in the mood for other great reading, any of the blogs on the right side of the screen are awesome too (Melissa, Carey, Erin, Bakerella, Allison....) ! Let it be known that I stole every single picture straight from these girls' blogs.

What are some of your favorite blogs?

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting back in the groove

I'm finally coming back to the Labor & Delivery questionnaire! Has it been long enough already? I only have a few questions remaining, but am always looking forward to new questions, so keep them coming if you're still curious about the lovely world of Labor & Delivery. There's always something interesting going on, that's for sure!

What's your advice for nursing students?

I'd like to expand this question to include another well-meaning group that often just doesn't understand what's really going on: friends and family members. But first, nursing students! I remember many years ago being in that dreadful place. It's awkward! Being thrust into real life situations with people you don't know and having very little clue as to what's going on. And we nurses aren't always friendly and receptive to nursing students, which makes the process all the more awkward. So first, to all my nursing student readers, I say keep your head up- it'll all come together eventually. (There's a reason nursing school is difficult and the standards are high... just like medical school is (more) difficult and the standards are high(er)- You're dealing with real people! Who really need medical care! Take it seriously!!) And now, some tips to make your experience in labor & delivery more enjoyable and more rewarding.

-Dont just sit there. There's nothing more frustrating than walking by the nurses' station and seeing 3-4 nursing students sitting around talking to each other. Especially if the staff nurses are busy with patient care. Offer to do ANYTHING. Take vital signs when they're due. Get the patient a blanket or some ice chips. Empty the trash can. Just do something! Simply spending time at the bedside, interacting with patients is good for developing your bedside manner. If the nurse assigned to your patient gets up and goes in the room, go in the room with her. Make your nurse aware of your scope of practice and offer to do anything that falls inside those parameters. Don't be sidelined or lay blame on grumpy nurses. You are solely responsible for your experience and can either sit in the corner and play Angry Birds or be assertive and productive and learn something about nursing.

-If you don't know the answer, don't pretend like you do. Better yet, if you don't know something, ask someone! We don't expect you to know the ins & outs of the mechanisms of labor (although you should know some basics- read up before you come so you aren't totally in the dark!), so ask questions if you need clarification.

-Be respectful of your nurse and her time. You will (hopefully) get into situations that are fast paced. Be aware that at that time, your nurse may not have a minute to explain why repositioning and oxygen are appropriate interventions for variable decelerations in the fetal heart rate. Stay out of the way unless you're asked to do something and save your questions for later. Patient care always comes first, obviously sometimes at the expense of education - but - if you pay close attention, you'll pick up more than you think.

And in the same way, it's appropriate for visitors to heed the same tips. There are also ways to help a nurse out: If it's indicated, you can get your pregnant friend some ice chips or help her fluff pillows or keep the room tidy and free of clutter. If you have a question about something, feel free to ask. Medicine changes and evolves regularly and things aren't always done the same way (especially since no 2 labors are ever the same!). If you aren't sure about the plan of care, ask the nurse or ask the physician when he/she makes rounds.

Not only that, friends and visitors should be respectful of the nurse's time. We often have more than just one patient and are continuously multi-tasking to make sure all of our patients have their needs met. Depending on what's going on at the time, your nurse may be stretched thin and only have a few minutes to devote to each patient, so make your needs clearly known (I can't read minds people!!!) and then be aware that the highest priority things will be done first (An epidural takes precedence over an extra blanket).

While I'm on the visitor kick, here's a couple of other suggestions: respect the mom and her husband!! Not everyone enjoys having an audience while in labor, so please be sensitive to the fact that sometimes visitors aren't exactly welcomed. And PLEASE PLEASE stay out of the way in an emergency. Sometimes we have to move quickly and don't get a chance to explain things, but always remember, that the health and safety of a patient is my number ONE priority. This means I will ask for the room to be cleared when a baby is in distress. Be aware that sometimes, emergency situations necessitate care that appears rough or forceful. A nurse never intends to inflict pain on her patient (except for maybe that darn pitocin. A necessary evil.), but for example, when a baby is delivering vaginally and the shoulder becomes stuck under the pelvic arch - aka shoulder dystocia - one of our first interventions is suprapubic pressure. To a well-meaning family member, suprapubic pressure only looks like I've got my entire body weight on top of a belly, which is completely necessary to try and free that shoulder and deliver the body! I say all that just to drive home the point that situations can be scary when the nurses are moving quickly, but we work better when everything and everyone is out of the way, and can answer questions after the situation is resolved.

I guess I kinda got on a soap box there. Check back again soon for the next installment!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

SYATP 2011

So this post is a little out of chronologic order, because See You at the Pole was a week ago from Wednesday. But it's never too late, right? Jordan and I went to the middle school first and it was still pretty early. By the time school started, there were over 100 students at the middle school flagpole. Awesome!

There was also well over 100 students at the high school campus. It is so SO encouraging to hear the students pray over their friends, their school, their teachers and leaders.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Girls Retreat 2011 "Made for More"

We have made it to the other side of this year's Girl's Retreat, and it was awesome. This retreat is my own "baby" and my way of really reaching our girls and forming relationships. We spent the weekend looking at Paul's conversion, the faithfulness of Rahab, and the 12 disciples. The main point was trying to get the girls to believe that they are "Made for More." Saul went from being a persecutor of Christians to Paul, the world's greatest missionary and author of half of the New Testament. Rahab went from a prostitute to being part of the lineage of Jesus Christ. The disciples were young and uneducated but helped spread the gospel of Jesus throughout the world. Our teenagers (and adults!) need to believe that they are created and equipped for an incredible journey. God's plans for us are always so much bigger and greater than anything we could ever envision for ourselves. Our responsibility is to leave our old junk behind and follow after Christ. My greatest hope and prayer is that God's Word was made clear and understandable to the girls, that they were encouraged, and they left with an excitement to continue studying and learning.

We ended up having a total of 31 people in a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom house for the weekend. We took 2 packed 15 passenger vans and an SUV three hours north to Industry, Tx. It was close quarters, but I think the whole bunch enjoyed spending time together. I am so thankful for the James and Donaldson families for letting us use the farm.

While each day had time set aside for group and individual Bible study time, we also incorporated games, movies, s'mores, manicures, tacos, scavenger hunts, songs, and plenty of other great things. Unfortunately, sleep didn't end up being on our list of activities.

Let me tell you, 31 girls can put away some food. We had each girl bring along a snack and a 2 liter drink. The drinks were drained by Saturday afternoon. The snacks were gone by the time we left. One of our brave adults, Bethany, took on the task of feeding 30+ people a total of 5 meals. This was awesome for 2 reasons: 1. She did an INCREDIBLE job. 2. I didn't have to worry about food or meal planning. While I'm handing out praise, I'd like to say thank you to the Chick-fil-A in Victoria, Tx for not screaming and running at the sight of 30 teenage girls walking in for dinner.

This year, small groups were incorporated into the weekend and I think both the leaders and the students absolutely loved the small group time. We ended up having 5 groups total, 3 of which were middle school students and the other 2 were high school (and college!). The group leaders were fantastic - I just can't help but believe that God hand-picked the right girls and the right leaders.

The weekend was an overwhelming success and I couldn't have done it without the other adult leaders (Bethany, Jessica, Jackie, Nicole and Kim) and the prayers of our fabulous church family. I can't thank you enough!!!!

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