Sunday, August 10, 2014


Our days are hot. Long and hot.

One of the things I love most about living in the reaches of Northern Idaho is that our summers are brief. Usually we have about six or eight weeks of very warm weather and then I can start layering on my comfortable sweaters and boots again. 

This year we have had a very hot summer. In the 90s since June with no end in sight. 

Here's to summer. 

Here's to the current season. To new babies and new feelings and a twelve ounce iced special every morning I work. Here's to now.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I am trying to make my life art. To carve out the sweet moments.

In this snapshot, I am not a mom who has worked all day and made a huge effort to go to the store after work and find a bathing suit for the first time post partum so our family can go to the beach. I am just a mom photographing her baby and husband together at the beach for the first time -- all three of us paper white Norwegians slathered in the highest possible SPF, even though it's sunset.

This afternoon I was just me. For the first time in a long time.

I have to come clean here. Lately I haven't felt like myself. I have been cranky, hard to deal with, emotional. I have had a lot of ups and downs. It felt like the proverbial month-long PMS. On Thursday I was up in Pediatrics and I noticed an innocuous teaching sheet. We have been busy -- so many moms and babies in and out -- that we had to open up Pediatrics for Mother/Baby overflow.  The words that caught my attention were Feeling Like A Bad Mother. They jumped off the page at me.

Because I feel like a bad mother all the time. I am also easily irritated, I feel hopeless a lot, and I want to eat all  the time. And not just the extra appetite from nursing.

Turns out it was an education sheet about post-partum depression.

On Monday I sat down with my beautiful blonde doctor. I sweated in my scrubs as she told me that what I was feeling was totally normal and that she had been where I was. Have I mentioned I love my doctor? We decided to take things easy and just start out by discontinuing the birth control pill I am on and switching to another method. I am watching myself for the next couple of weeks and if I don't feel better by then we have other options available. In the medical field we always choose the least amount of intervention first. It was comforting to have a doctor who gave me options before giving me anti-depressants.

Three days later and I am already starting to feel better.

Today I had some struggle getting my plan of a family beach day executed. I couldn't find a swimsuit at the store. It was extremely hot. Wal-Mart seemed to be completely out of all but the largest sized swim diapers. I had an awkward conversation at the store with someone I haven't seen in years. I was a disheveled mess. But instead of giving up I was able to keep on with my plan. I didn't have to regroup or melt down.

I chose the swimsuit that fit even though it was pink and strapless and I ended up feeling great in it.

Instead of a swim diaper, we used an odds-and-ends pair of plastic pants that I got from a friend when I was pregnant. It worked great. So great in fact that I am going to buy bigger plastic pants for future beach trips.

I was able to just enjoy the moment for the first time in a very long time. It was such a beautiful thing.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

QUICK UPDATE.'s been a while!

Things have been just crazy in the last month. I know our culture values "crazy" and "busy" but truly my schedule has been insane and things are just starting to quiet down.

First off, I never like to talk about work here online, but my crazy has been all work related. I don't like to make complaints when I am having a hard time, but coming back from maternity leave I was having a pretty rotten time on my unit since all CNA schedules changed while I was out. I was working 8am-8:30pm, 10am-10:30pm. Swing shift is not my strong suit. I was very tired and childcare was a headache -- I was bouncing Lucas from daycare to friends and it made for some very long and hard days. Plus Lucas was asleep by the time I got home.

Fortunately before I came back from leave I heard of a job opening from an old coworker in the hospital in the Birthing Center. There are only two CNA's in the Birthing Center and it is not easy to get in. But through God's grace and a lot of chocolate, here I am two months later! I take care of moms and babies in Post Partum! It has been such a refreshing change for me and to boot I work 7am-3:30pm Monday through Friday. Childcare is now all through hospital daycare alone and it is so nice to take baby to work with me, feed him during my lunchtime, and take him home. That extra time with little man is so wonderful as are weekends off which is almost unheard of in healthcare.

I am so excited and blessed!

Second in the past few months I have started couponing. Insert groan here. At least for my mom anyway. My mom has women in her congregation who have crazy stockpiles I guess and she thinks they buy things they don't need. However since Mother's Day I have been learning a lot of lessons and saving a lot of money too, not to mention developing a modest stockpile. I have only been buying things I need at a fraction of the price, and I have started to get items for free or very inexpensively. I am no extreme couponer, but I am saving a very significant amount of money and I am working on doing even more.

There's a lot more to cover but that's all the time I have this evening. :-)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Dear Lucas,

This month has been full of ups and downs. I went back to work the first weekend in May and it is almost starting to feel normal to leave you with the daycare ladies. We had some schedule challenges since I came back to work and found my old schedule had been eliminated and I was instead working later and later hours. It's hard to find childcare for a newborn until 10:30 pm. I also had such a hard time coming home to my little love sleeping soundly without help from his mama. But you seem to love me still. I worry through the twelve hour days that you'll forget me. But you know my face, my voice, my smell. Just like I know yours.

I have enjoyed the changes this month sweet boy. You have filled out. Your arms and legs are fatter, your feet are round and chubby and you have a dimple on every knuckle. Your smiles are bigger and more frequent now. One day as I had you on the floor for tummy time and was taking some pictures you suddenly flopped on your side. Just like that. All on your own. Right there on camera. That's my boy.

I am obsessed with your legs and your feet. You have the cutest little rolls. I know it means you're getting fed well, but it is so much fun to see you grow.

Since I went back to work in May you also contracted your first illness. It all started with sneezing followed by coughing and lots of sad whining. You never spiked a fever or exhibited any behavior changes other than wanting to be held more and waking up a little more at nighttime. I took you to the doctor who pronounced you just fine with clear lung sounds. Next time I will just buy the stethoscope like your Grandma French suggested. Doctor Edwards said that had you been any younger we would have had to do a full workup on you -- including a chest X-Ray and lumbar puncture. It took almost two weeks to clear up but you made it (and so did your mom).

You also made it through your very first Stovern Mother's Day shopping excursion. Each year we get together and spend many hours marching through every store with a garden center so your Grandma Kay can have a nice garden. Shopping with Grandma is an extra special kind of torture you will only appreciate when you are older.

I think you look like my brother Daniel in this picture.

Love, Mama