Monday, July 28, 2014

the prep work is over.

When Dr Sawyer suggested last fall that I become a lactation consultant for her pediatric clinic, I liked the idea.  I had 9 years experience working with breastfeeding mothers, nursed my 2 children & thought that breastfeeding IS the best form of nutrition for baby & has many health benefits for mom as well.

Little did I know how intense the journey would be. I wrote about it in March. It's easy to say that you know a little about breastfeeding, but being an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) is a much more intense, in-depth expert in lactation and breastfeeding.  I have spent the last 9 months preparing for this international board exam.  I have been blessed to share this journey with 5 other former co-workers.  Starting in January we did monthly 4-hour study group sessions.  The 2 weeks immediately prior to the exam we have met for all day study sessions. Of course I have been independently reading and studying on my lunch breaks and when the family goes to bed and the house is quiet.  I have looked at disgusting images, answered hundreds of practice questions, read tender stories and been totally amazed at what God made the body to do.  I've learned some amazing things on this journey.  It has only validated my original feelings of the importance of breastfeeding.  I hope to support, educate and help mothers in our area (where we currently have NO lactation consultants) to breastfeed their baby's.  And to also help my nurse friends navigate through what is best for our patients and babies.

In just a few short hours, I will be taking my lactation consultant international board exam.  Please pray for me and all my potential colleagues that will be testing today around the world.  That's right, today there will be people in China, India, England, Argentina, Mexico, etc!  Isn't that cool!?!  I guess the point is that we all have the same goals.  

I am nervous.  I am battling the self-doubt.  All I can hope and pray is that I have prepared enough.  Thank you in advance for your moments of prayer for me...I greatly appreciate it.

Here are memories of my preparation journey...
Study group with Marie Biancuzzo during a Exam Review course in Atlanta
After 11 hours of studying...our minds were so tired.
Studying in Atlanta at a Exam Review course in March
Our study corner where we met to do most of our studying this year.  
During our last 2 cram sessions, Chris was nice enough to invite us into her home.
Midnight snack while studying

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Friday, June 6, 2014

Quick trip to Baltimore & Washington DC

Jacob and I had the opportunity to go on a quick trip to Baltimore earlier this summer.   
I jotted down a little timeline while we were there...

Day 1:
It was the 1st time I had flown...that I can remember.  I think I had a couple times as a kid.
3:30am- wake up, get ready, hit the road.
5am-arrive at airport.  check in. security.  Chick-fil-A breakfast.  Score a window seat!  Overly excited as I watch a gorgeous sunrise.
6:10am-I was impressed that our 6am flight was prompt in leaving on time.
 6:30am-Jacob snoozes on the flight.  Me?  I am taking the coffee and peanuts (don't even eat peanuts, but it was part of the experience, right?!?

10ish- land in Baltimore.  Head to DC, excited that we have the entire day ahead of us and wanting to cram in all that DC had to offer.  Relying only on iPhone GPS, we get stupid-lost trying to get downtown as our GPS was contradicting what the road signs were saying.  In Jacob's defense, he is a great driver and usually easily navigates congested, confusing downtown roadways.  But DC was so screwed up.  Before we found a parking spot we were both pissed.  Even though I wanted to make the most of this day #1, we both were agreeing {in an argumentative way} that this was a bad idea!  We park in an underground parking deck and hope we can remember how to get back to our unfamiliar rental car.   15 minutes after parking, Jacob is tired of walking and announces that he has no interest in walking in all these museums.  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
 12:00pm- Pass the castle.  I was most excited to visit the Holocaust Museum.   {In high school, I usually stuck to a couple topics for book reports, history project, etc.  I'm a Helen Keller and Holocaust wiz!}  I was disappointed to learn that I was supposed to already have gotten tickets to go into the 2-story exhibits.  So we just stuck to the main floor.  I was interesting what we did get to see.
 2pm-Even though Jacob's legs were about to fall off him, we made our way to the WW2 & Lincoln Memorial.  I enjoyed them all.  My papaw fought in WW2. Jacob's grandfather was in the National Gaurd for several years. We have a great deal of respect for our veterans & current soldiers.  It was humbling to see these memorials.
Selfie with Abe!
 3:00pm- our chicken biscuit from this morning was long gone, we were starving.  We found a Five Guys near where our car was.  We scarfed those burgers down and hit the road.  As frustrated and pissed off as we were navigating to DC, it was worse trying to make our way to our hotel in Baltimore.  After that stupid iPhone GPS got us making several wrong turns, we ditch the GPS and Jacob just uses the road signs to get us on the correct hwy.  NOW, we are stuck in traffic.  Shoot us.  What should've been a 40 minute straight shot, turned into an almost 2 hours of grumbling, huffs, puffs, a little cussing and silent treatment until we both started dosing off.  Remember, we had been going hard for a full 12 hours at this point.  Due to traffic, we were going a steady 15-20mph the entire time.  When we got close to the hotel, Jacob got a little over zealous & jumped the curb because he was so excited to be out of that car and finally to our destination!  Our room was nice.  It was directly next to the Camden Yards, home of the Orioles. {{FUN FACT: Jacob & I, along with our church youth group sang the national anthem on that field about 12-14 years ago!  They weren't playing any home games while we were there or else we would've tried to go to a game.}}

6pm-get ready for dinner.  Jacob picked out our dinner plans after seeing this ad in the plane magazine...
7:15pm-return the rental car.  Go on my 1st taxi ride to the restaurant.  Interesting.  Expensive.  So glad I have my own car and don't have to do that daily!  Dinner at The Prime Rib was amazing!  Delicious.  Romantic.  Fun.  

9:20pm-After sitting in the car earlier and that expensive cab ride, we decided to walk back to our hotel room.  It took us an hour. Only saw 1 homeless man sleeping. But the nighttime, city walk was nice.  The row houses were cool & different from what we are used to.  It felt good outside.  Although Jacob's legs were tired and hurting, he made it, with less complaints or maybe I had tuned them out.  Either way, I really enjoyed our long walk back. 
Day 2:
9am-It was cool and drizzly, but I refused to stay in the hotel room.  I went on a long run around the Inner Harbor, stopping only to explore the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse. It was maybe my most enjoyable 5 miles ever!
12pm-shower.  Eat this amazing sushi at Edu Sushi.  I had the Harbor Maki.  My mouth is watering thinking about it.  So delicious.  I then explored the shops at the Inner Harbor.  Took a nap.
 6:15pm- Got ready. After sitting in the lobby, watching it POUR down rain, I was praying it would stop soon so we could explore the inner harbor a little more. It finally did clear up.  I picked out this night's restaurant.  Phillips Seafood.  It advertised the best crab cakes, I wanted to be the judge.   I must say it was pretty dang perfect.  I ate the "Ultimate Crab Cake"  8oz of crab meat, mac & cheese, asparagus.  Then finished it with a bourbon cookie pie with ice cream.  Holy-moly was it good!
 Day 3:
9am-ridiculously expensive breakfast at the hotel restaurant. lesson learned.
10am-taxi to airport.
11am-because our boarding passes had us boarding last, Jacob and I weren't able to sit together...not even close.
2pm-got our girls, gave extra lovin, hugs & kisses.  We were so happy to see them!

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Rylee is going to be a BIG SISTER!

My niece Rylee is going to be a big sister soon.  They had their gender reveal party a couple weeks ago...

My parents had 3 daughters, who also have 3 grand-daughters....and now this tiny grandson!  This little guy is already so loved. Lindsay and Nick are naming him Brody.  
We are all praying for an easy pregnancy, delivery and a healthy mama and baby boy.  

Here are a few other precious moments from their party...
Bella with her great-grandmother.
If you count me, since I did take this picture...It's 4 generations.  
Cousin love.  Em, Henri and Bella
Mimi and her girls, pretty soon there will be a little boy in our mix!

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Friday, May 23, 2014

What's going on in that beautiful mind

I wonder what they are thinking, how they imagine life is.  Figuring all this big ol' world out.  I love hearing their rationals about situations.  

One day we were playing around and Jacob picked me up...Bella was amazed.  Little does she know he lifts much heavier weights than me at the gym each week.  
But in her eyes, her daddy is SO STRONG and can DO AND FIX ANYTHING.
 This summer, 2 year old Lucy is so proud of her BRAVERY.  She wants me to "look mommy, watch me!!"  
She is cautions, but able.  
She has recently loved to slide down the slide and swing high and walk on the talk bridge at the playground. 

 Oh, the joy.  My lovely Lucy Lee.  When I see this smile and her crazy hair, when I hear that genuine giggle...I am reminded of true, unconditional love.  I would do whatever it takes, sacrifice everything I have for that smile, her crazy hair and that genuine giggle.  For I love her so.
 And this beauty right here:
 I look at those little feet and I wonder where the Lord will lead her?  In her 4 little years, I have been able to shield her from things that might break her spirit or stop her from smiling.  I protect her heart, her innocence.  My heart breaks a little when I remember that I will not always be able to shield the evil.  But for now I will beg God to help me figure out how to teach her that there is so much more beauty in this world, we just must find it on those difficult days.  That we must be content and grateful.  And for now, I will continue to adore those bare feet, her perfect smile, those little piggy tails in her hair that she requested...and I will swing her as high as she wants to go.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light upon my path
~Psalm 119:105

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