first night

4:37am - just realized that I am more than halfway finished my first night shift. Up at 8:00 this morning, one 2.5 hour nap this afternoon/evening, and then out to the hospital for 11:00pm. I am doing much better than I thought I would, although it is a very surreal feeling sitting in a dark hallway, knowing that I am surrounded by other nurses and about 20 patients lining the outside of the unit. On night shifts we take one long break (a whole hour and a half) so that nurses can sleep if they would like to. I sat on a couch (and by sat I mean I sprawled out on - ) and read my book for half an hour and then had a very short doze for maybe 10 minutes. A friend of mine told me that whenever she slept during her night shifts, her eyes would feel like sandpaper as soon as she woke up! I had this in the back of my mind and really tried to put off a sleep! So I am back at my desk, looking up medical terms and disorders that I read about, and think about how good it is going to feel at 7:15am when I can finally drag myself back out to my car and slide into bed.

I think tomorrow is going to be the real test - I have told Sal that during the day he is going to have to physically place baby H. onto me to breastfeed her. Either that or hook up the breast pump and let it do its thing.

Isn't that a lovely image to end on...

lighthouse (not the cheesy band...)

I love going through the archives on this blog. We used to write so often on here, and would write about and post the most ridiculous things. I am going to try and go through the old stuff and post some of my faves. Found this little nugget - it's pretty funny.

1. One way or another, the government gets 98 per cent of your income.
2. You're poor, but not as poor as the Newfies.
3. When listing the provinces, everyone forgets to mention yours.
4. The economy is based on fish, cows, and ferrying Ontario motorists to Boston.
5. No one ever blames anything on New Brunswick.
6. Everybody has a Grandfather who runs a lighthouse
7. Just as charming as Maine, but with more unemployed fishermen
8. You probably live in a small seaside cottage with no television.

Tracey, I don't know why but whenever someone asks me where your family is from I always say Nova Scotia first. Speaking of lighthouses, this article was mentioned on CBC a while back and made me feel a bit sad. Canada has declared 976 lighthouses to be 'surplus' and are now looking to individuals, businesses, etc. to step up and buy a lighthouse. How about that? I think I have changed my retirement plans - forget relaxing on a beach when I am old. I am going to buy a lighthouse and just stare out of the top window, snooping on my neighbours.

Ha! I can just picture it...

new music

I received an iTunes gift certificate for my birthday this year - I always have a hard time figuring out what to buy off of iTunes because I am such an avid user of my local library and get tons of cds from there.

Tonight I thought I would share some of the music I have been listening to lately:

Love this song by K'naan.

How about you - what's playing on your stereo lately?


I hate having bad days - as I have mentioned before, I don't have many bad days. I have bad moments, but whole days of unhappiness and crappiness are rare (yes, I do consider myself very lucky).

This past Monday? Horrible. Absolutely rotten. Got to the hospital and was thrown into a shit storm of patients - very acute patients with lots wrong and lots to be addressed. For the past two weeks, my families have been pretty healthy - maybe a high blood pressure here or there or a baby with high jaundice levels, but nothing like Monday. I think what made me feel so out of sorts is that I was so disorganized. I came home and vented to Sal for about half an hour. And what was his response? "Now you know what to do in situations like that. Now you know what it is to be a nurse!" He is totally right. I did learn. And for that I am grateful.

Cut to Tuesday. I began the day by having a sleep with my little girl on the couch (heaven!). Then before my shift I ran by the mall to pick up a new strap for my favourite watch which broke a month ago. The girl was so nice, despite having just been completely bitched out by a customer. She was having a day like my Monday! I could totally relate. And instead of selling me a new strap, she just took the old clasp off of a clearance one and slipped it right onto my watch and let me walk away. Didn't charge me a thing. She ended up venting to me about that awful customer and I let her, keeping a smile on my face the whole time. "I hear you" was all that was going through my mind. So she made my day yesterday and I ended up having a fantastic shift. Met a couple who have gone through five years of trying and heartbreak before finally giving birth to the most perfect little baby. Meeting and caring for them made my previous shift just disappear from my mind.

It was a good day.


I cannot believe it, but I am already more than half done my placement on the maternity unit here in the city. What I also can't believe is that I have loved it so much! Being in an inner city hospital absolutely has its challenges - dealing with families living just at or below the poverty line, single mothers, very young moms and dads...etc. The toughest part yet has been seeing and working with the babies who are born to moms who used drugs during the pregnancy. These poor little babes are born already going through withdrawl symptoms. Day one for us brought a little thing who had horrible shudders go through his body every few minutes. And once he was held, they stopped - he just needed some love. All I am thinking as I see these little babies is tremendous sadness for them and their future, but then I give the best care I absolutely can. I suppose that is what being a good nurse is - being empathetic on the outside while hiding your sympathy and raw feelings on the inside. Frick, it's hard!

The best part about this placement is being able to hold brand new little babes who just entered this world. It's pretty incredible...

(I want another one...)


the joy of cooking...

So here is something that you may not know about me: I mean, I really love them. I was just talking to a neighbour and she told me that she reads cookbooks in bed at night - ok, I may not be there yet, but I think I am close. I love going through new books to find recipes that I am interested in cooking, as well as just reading about different techniques. In our home, Sal really does most of the cooking at suppertime, and I am the baker. I love baking anything. One thing that I have begun to do more often is actually read the whole recipe before starting - what a concept, hey? Too many times have I started to cook an onion or meat, add the other ingredients, only to discover two sentences down that I was supposed to marinate the whole thing overnight or let something sit for three hours when I am already starving!

Sal and I watched the movie 'Julie & Julia' last night - hence, the gastronomical posting! I really, really enjoyed it. I loved all of the dishes being prepared, and I especially loved the character of Julia Child - I wish she was a family member of mine who I could go see on the weekends and cook with. I am always fascinated by french cuisine, but have not had much luck cooking it. There are too many ingredients, too many steps, and too many things that can go wrong. I hate spending time in the kitchen only to have prepared a disappointing dish (this happened most recently with potato salad - I blame the recipe. How can potato salad taste bad?) I often will take out cookbooks from the library and spend hours going through them and re-copying the recipes I like into my own cookbook. You cannot understand how happy the process makes me.

I have a couple of favourite cookbooks. My cooking bible is 'The Joy of Cooking'. I was given this book by a wonderful friend and her mom for my wedding shower, and believe me - it is well loved. One thing we have always done in our family is to date the recipe the first time we cook it and write a review. Many a page of my copy has been reviewed:

(they really are the best pancakes - making them is a weekend tradition!)

Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook is also wonderful. I photocopied a lot of recipes out of there, including the coconut cake I made for Sal's birthday. I really love making new things. It provides a real sense of accomplishment if it tastes good! Here is the front and inside of my own recipe book - the one that I copy recipes from friends, family, and other cooks! (Yes, it is a Harry Potter blnk journal that I got as a gift...seriously...what else was I supposed to do with it?)

oh god, that cover kills me everytime I look at it...

(edit: did you see the list of ingredients under the apple pie recipe? wow - I am a quick one!)

Again, that is my very well used and well loved book! I always take a look at the Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazine when I am at the grocery store. Super easy and generally healthy recipes. That is something I also look for in a recipe. I am starting to eat more and more fruit and vegetables and less meats. Sal and I have not eaten red meat in over 6 months, and ever since reading the book 'Food Matters' by Mark Bittman, I am even more set on that way of eating. I am so glad we grew so much lettuce in our garden as I have been eating so many salads as of late.

So that's me, and what I make, and what inspires me. My question to you: do you use cookbooks, or are you one of those free spirits who can't stand the thought of following recipes? What cookbooks do you turn to?


oh dear.

Where did the time go? I apologize for not writing more recently, but I forget about this little thing. Anyway, check out my guest post on Rebekah's website. Leave a comment at the end and you will be entered to win something handmade by Rebekah -

I finished day two of my placement on the maternity ward at the RAH, although up until now we have just been having tons of orientation to the unit. There is so much to know about new moms and their babes that I have forgotten until now! I am so excited to have my buddy shift tomorrow and to be taking on patients starting Thursday. Oh, and I also kind of want to have another baby right now. They are so cute and little...and their little shrieks are to die for! Also, for those of you who may be having a little one in the future, I would highly suggest you have it in the new Lois Hole Hospital for Women. It is so beautiful and clean and bright. Everything you would hope a hospital would ideally be's heaven.

Anyway, that's it for me. I might not be back for a while. I have a pretty significant and scary birthday coming up that I need to prepare for.

Have a good one..