Monday, March 20, 2017

Our Spring Break + Weekend Update

Happy Monday, friends! Our Spring Break is officially over, and I'm pretty bummed. We had the best week, truly. I loved the slower mornings and the non-existent schedules. And then the extra time with my girls is priceless, always.
 
Below is a big peak into our week.
 
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Lily is headband-obsessed and loves coordinating them to match her outfits. She wore this Trolls-inspired one nearly every day and wanted to sleep in it too!
 
 
Found my sweeties snuggled up in Hadley's bed one morning. I hope they'll always share secrets with one another.

 
The weather for most of the week wasn't the best. So we made a pillow pad and watched the Trolls movie only about a billion times.
 
 
We went to the Natural Science Museum with my parents one afternoon and loved seeing all the creatures that live around us. After the museum we stopped by our local soda fountain and had milkshakes and french fries.
 
 
 
 
 
True to form, Hadley couldn't wait to pet an alligator. Lily wouldn't step near it.

 
 

We also ate our weight in donuts. Seriously. We picked donuts up three mornings, and they were worth every calorie!

 
So I've never made homemade Play-doh but figured it was past time for us to give it a whirl! And now we're hooked! It was so fun to mix it all together and to add the food coloring. We also added glitter to make it extra fun. If anyone wants the recipe, let me know, and I'll be happy to share.

 
 
We have a pond in our neighborhood, and we spent many a day looking for turtles and gathering wildflowers.
 
 
 
Saturday was the annual St. Paddy's Day Parade, and it's a pretty big deal for our state. Size-wise, I think it's one of the biggest parades in the U.S. It's always fun to see everyone decked out in green...and we even caught a few beads.
 
 
 
How funny are their faces below? I think it was a sun in my eyes/stop taking pictures kind of smile.

 
Saturday afternoon I took Lily to a birthday party, and it was a painting party! So much fun! They painted Poppy from the Trolls movie, and it was so cute to see everyone's personality show through on their paintings.
 
 
 
Yesterday we went to church and spent most of the day working in our yard. Rob also finished up a painting project, and it turned out so great! This was my grandmother's dresser from the 60s! We painted it Hale Navy and plan to use it in our bedroom...we're slowly but surely working on a major revamp in there, and I think this piece is going to be a beautiful focal point. We also spray painted the hardware metallic gold.

 
 

So, that was our week in pictures...you know, one day I'm sure we'll vacation over Spring Break, but I'm a big fan of the simple days of just staying home. What did everyone else do? Or have y'all even had your break yet?
 
The girls are at school, and I'm about to work out and do some laundry. Hope everyone has a good week back in the real world! :)
 
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Hospital Etiquette 101

I'm talking about hospital etiquette today because it seems that so many are in new territory here! As a nurse, I can speak pretty confidently to what works and what doesn't work for most patients when they're hospitalized. These tips loosely apply to moms who have just had babies. That's a joyous occasion that's unlike most other hospital stays. At the same time, and as you'll see in tip number one below, it's important to know the patient and respect his or her wishes...always.
 
 
 1) First and foremost, know the patient and the situation. Did the patient just receive some bad news? Do they need time to process that news before visitors arrive? What's the patient like? Is he or she an outgoing extrovert who needs to see familiar faces? Or does he or she value privacy and isn't usually up for small talk? This seems obvious, but I feel like this gets overlooked so often. When all else fails, just think about the patient and what you think might make him or her the happiest.
 
2) Don't come in large groups. For the love, please don't do this. For the sake of the patient and for the sake of the hospital staff. The rooms are small; seating is limited. Your loved one is there to get well not to socialize. A rule of thumb: if the room is so crowded that you're using a potty chair as a seat, there's too many people in the room.

3) Don't overstay your welcome. Short visits are better for everyone. I'd say 30 minutes max, but every patient (and every situation) is different. With that said...
 
4) Look out for cues from the patient. Is the patient yawning with every other word? Is the patient grimacing in pain, or do they keep telling you they're nauseated? Pick up on that and cut your visit short.

 5) Try to schedule your visit so it doesn't coincide with mealtime. I know this isn't always possible, but the morning and afternoon hours are usually better. Meals are delivered warm, and patients generally want to eat them that way.
 
6) Do knock before entering. Another obvious point, but it doesn't happen often enough. Patients are often changing, napping, or using the restroom. Respect their privacy.
 
7) Do ask the patient's nurse if now is a good time. He or she might have some good info for you because they've been with the patient the most that day. For instance, "Today's been a bad day. The patient is in a lot of pain, and she's depressed that she's still in the hospital." Information like that can give the visitor a lot of insight into how to approach their visit.
 
8) Don't bring food for yourself unless the patient has a good appetite and is not turned off by smells. If you're bringing something for yourself to eat, ask the patient if you can bring him or her something.
 
9) If a patient is nauseated, vomiting, or is NPO (nothing by mouth), for the love of all that is good, do NOT bring food inside their room. Y'all, this happens ALL.THE.TIME. Do you know how wrong it is to devour a piece of pizza in front of someone who can't eat because they're having surgery later in the day? Or how wrong it is to eat a foot-long tuna fish sub in front of a patient who is nauseated? Just don't do it. Your grumbling tummy can wait, I promise.
 
10) Do call the patient beforehand and ask if you can bring anything. A cup of coffee? Some fresh socks? A magazine?
 
11) If a nurse or doctor walks in the room, ask the patient if he or she would like you to step out. Sensitive information is often discussed...and I don't mean life or death stuff always but often things like, "When was your last bowel movement?" Or "Here is your antidepressant." Not everyone is an open book. Some folks are private and don't want their friend from church knowing when they last pooped.
 
12) Don't wear strong scents. Visiting the hospital is not the time to douse yourself in your favorite body spray. So many in the hospital are sensitive to smells, and while you may smell lovely to you, you probably won't smell lovely to a lot of sensitive noses.
 
13) Don't bring plants or flowers...unless...if the patient is going to be in the hospital for a while, plants or flowers are a wonderful addition to their room and truly make it a brighter, happier spot. But if the patient is leaving tomorrow, wait and send those flowers to their home. Flowers are hard to transport from the hospital to home, and sometimes end up being more of a headache than anything! Also, many oncology patients cannot have live plants in their rooms because their white blood cell counts are low, and living plants are a threat to their immune system.
 
14) Do follow the instructions on the patient's door. Does a sign tell you to wear a gown and gloves? Then do it. Does a sign tell you to see the nurse before entering the room? Then go find the nurse. The signs are there for a reason! :)
 
15) Do talk about normal life stuff with the patient but try not to focus on what they're missing out on. So you went to a wedding last night (one in which the patient was supposed to attend), and it was the most fun wedding you're ever attended? The food was divine; the band was great; you danced until 1 in the morning. That's great! Just keep some of those fun details to yourself so the patient doesn't dwell on all of the fun they're missing.
 
16) Do check in often. A daily text message to let them know they're in your thoughts can mean the world to someone...and can really be a bright spot in their day.
 
17) Children. This is a touchy one. A visit from littles can often be the highlight of one's hospital stay. That said, think. Is your child going to scream the entire time because Grandma has an IV? Is your child going to insist on crawling all over the hospital floor? Is he going to throw a fit if he can't eat the Goldfish that just got crushed under your feet? If you answered yes to any of these, it might not be the best time. Facetime is your friend. If your loved one doesn't know how to use it, I'd bet his or her nurse can help out.
 
18) If you are sick or have been sick in the past few days, stay away! We're trying to treat infections not gather new ones.
 
19) Always think about what's best for the patient in the end. I can't tell you how many times loved ones bring patients food from outside the hospital. This is a lovely gesture unless the patient is on a strict diet. A diabetic doesn't need a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. He may beg you to bring him one, and I know it's hard to say no, but the doctor has written orders for a reason...to help your loved one heal so he or she can ultimately return home. It may feel like you're doing your loved one a favor, but in fact your gesture is quite the opposite...it's forcing him or her to stay hospitalized even longer.
 
20) And finally, I'll end with an obvious that so often gets ignored. Wash your hands. Before entering the patient's room and when you leave. Germs are everywhere, and germs are rampant in hospitals. Protect your loved one, and protect yourself.
 
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So, what do y'all think? Do you care to add any? Can you speak from personal experience about some definite do's or some definite don'ts? I'd love to hear!
 
I hope everyone has a lovely weekend. Hope to see y'all back here on Monday.
 
 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Easter Dresses for Her!

It's spring break here, so I have spring on the mind even though it's chilly outside. What is with this weather?!

Easter will be here before we know it so I wanted to round up some pretty options for us ladies. It doesn't always happen, but I do like to have a new dress to wear on Easter Sunday. Anyone with me on that? And later this week I'll have my picks up for little girls.


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A simple shift that could be dressed up or down. And you can easily throw on a cardigan if it's still cool outside.

A-Line Shift Dress

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Loving the flouncy hem on this dress. The colors just scream spring!

Shimmer Floral Flounce Dress

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I always like a 3/4 sleeve, and the longer hem in the back is great.

 
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A beautiful maxi dress that also comes in white. Check back frequently because Banana Republic is always having good sales.
 
 
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Ignore the sock and bootie combo here (seriously tho?!) and picture this with some cute black sandals.
 
 
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This dress has a lot going on, but I like it...the color combinations are so pretty.
 
 
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Adore the neon colors in this option. And J.Crew dresses fit so well.
 
 
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A simple shift with a cool hem. Add a fun necklace or some fun shoes to jazz it up.
 
Asymmetrical Shift Dress

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I think this would be so pretty with a simple nude heel. Love the hint of pink towards the bottom of the dress.

 
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This may be too casual for Easter Sunday, but I'm loving the colors. I do think it could be dressed up with the right shoes. And I like that you could wear it casually with sneakers or flip flops too.
 
Abbey Stripe Jersey Boatneck Dress

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The blue flowers are so fun!

Graphic Crepe Dress

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Another shift dress with a fun pattern. Shifts work well on most body types, and they're just a classic style that never gets old.

 Hibiscus Shift Dress

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This dress is gorgeous. The pastel flowers and the sleeves are a winning combo. So feminine.

Becca Double Ruffle Sleeve Dress

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A pop of pink adds some fun to an otherwise simple shift.
 
Colorblock Shift Dress

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Love the black and coral pink together. Wrap dresses don't work very well on me, but they look great on so many!

Leaf Wrap Dress

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The sleeve here is so sweet, and I like the flared bottom.

Flutter Flare Dress

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I'm liking the colors and the dip in the neck.
 
Floral Sheath Dress

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How pretty is this option? And the small cut-outs on the chest funk it up a bit.

If I Can't Have You Dress

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I like plaid in spring, and the ruching on one sleeve and one hip are so well-done.

 
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What do you think of my picks? Do you purchase a new dress for yourself each Easter?
 
I hope everyone has a happy day. We're officially on Spring Break, and I'm so excited for no schedule I can hardly stand it!
 
 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Life Lately

Happy Friday, friends! Has everyone had a good week? Any big weekend plans?
 
We've had a l-o-n-g week! Rob was out of town most of the week, and I've been caring for a sick little one (Lily) who is thankfully on the mend. Strep stinks. And it's spreading like wildfire here. After a visit to the doctor and some medicine, she's feeling much better and is back at school. Below is a picture of Lil at the doctor's office...smiling even with 102 fever. She is a trooper and always has been.
 
 
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Since Lily was home sick a good bit of the week we took it pretty easy. Dress up and movies in bed.
 
 
 
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I was able to get a lot of spring cleaning done. So of course I had to document the clean house with a picture.
 
 
I picked up this cute garland from Target's dollar spot. That's about the only Easter decor I've gotten up this year!

 
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Wednesday Lily was almost well but wasn't able to go back to school since she'd had fever the day before...you know, the whole 24 hours fever-free rule. So, we took advantage of having what felt like a "free" day! I always love spending one-on-one time with my girls. It's just really special.
 
 
 
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We also spent a lot of time outside, as spring is upon us...which makes us all so happy. Except for the pollen. That's nearly killing me.
 
 
 
 
 
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Today's the girls' last day of school before we're officially on spring break! I can hardly wait to put the backpacks and homework up for an entire week. We have nothing planned, but I'm completely happy with that and just want to enjoy our time together.
 
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Does anyone have any special weekend plans? I'm working tomorrow then hope we can all go to church on Sunday. It seems like it's been a time since we've all been well enough to go as a family. So goes life, huh?
 
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Hope everyone enjoys their weekend. See y'all back here next week! :)