^a tiny little 14 week bump
^ Dinner at Casanova – one of our favorites
Back in October we took a day trip to Carmel by the Sea. We go each year for Chris’ birthday. (see the past two years here & here). This year it was feeling a little too hectic to try to stay for the whole weekend. So we ended up leaving early Saturday morning & spending all day there. We visited some of our favorite spots. It was a chilly day so we decided to bypass the beach and stick just to downtown. There’s an awesome ornament store called Kris Kringle of Carmel where they’ll personalize the ornaments for you. It’s certainly worth checking out if you love Christmas decor or collect ornaments like we do. In years past our trips include plenty of wine tasting but this year my little baby bump kept me from any tasting rooms. Not to worry I did manage to find some excellent mocktails. It’s so fun to think about next year’s trip & how we’ll have a little one in tow with us! Even though this trip was quick, I’m so glad we decided to go. Heading down the coast to Carmel is by far one of my favorite fall traditions.
We’ve been keeping a little secret & it feels so good to finally announce it! We couldn’t be more excited to welcome our new addition come April! It’s surreal to think that as I type this out I’m officially 19 weeks, one week from the halfway mark. Pregnancy is an odd mixture of both being unbelievably excited as well as not wanting to jump the gun when it comes to clearing out a bedroom or assembly baby furniture. Then before you know it you have a few months under your belt & suddenly feel like the to-do list exploded. I’m so excited to get started on the nursery, we’re taking out the last of the furniture tomorrow!! And stay tuned I’ll be posting some of my first trimester must have items in the next few weeks.
The month of May is home to Nurse’s week. Across the country hospital administration will thank their soldiers on the ground with pancake breakfasts & inspirational quotes. Nurse’s don’t need a quote to tell them what a beautifully hard job this is. This year will mark my five year anniversary of becoming a nurse. Even typing it out, I feel the need to quickly double check the math. It doesn’t seem all that long ago I was dawning bright white scrubs & learning how to take vital signs. In some ways that shy, timid nursing student seems like a person I was in another lifetime. I’ve spent the last five years working in an Emergency Department in San Francisco. In that time I’ve started countless IV’s, wrapped broken bones, compressed lifeless chests to see life return & seen patients in their final moments.
Nurse’s week for me isn’t about the free breakfasts, or new company water bottles. It’s about remembering the amazing mentors I have had a long the way & the nurses I continue to strive emulate even today. A wise nurse once told me that ER nurses are notorious for carrying “emotional backpacks”. Events happen so quickly in an ER that you often don’t get the opportunity to process things fully until much later. So as sad, painful, ugly things happen we put all these heavy feelings in a back pack that we carry around with us. And as you clock out & get home you have to find a way to empty these things out in order to go back to work again in 12 hours. Some things you can let go of as you swipe your badge and walk away, others require a long run, a good cry or a stiff drink! If you don’t figure out a way to empty your backpack frequently it’ll eventually weigh you down. Nurses week is about remember that we all carry our own backpacks & recognizing that we can help one another when it gets too heavy. I’m ever thankful for my coworkers who not only make me laugh but are side by side with me as we are faced with the unknown of the emergency department each day. This job at times is painful & hard & other times is exceptionally wonderful & in that contrast there is beauty. The friendships I have made inside those windowless walls are some the strongest & I can say with certainty it’s what keeps me coming back. Only your fellow nurses will understand what it’s like to give yourself fully for 12 hours a day, over & over; not just Monday through Friday, but weekends & Christmas. My fellow nurses are some of the funniest, smartest, most thoughtful people I’ve ever met & I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of the club!
This year I happened to be on vacation during the actual nurses week (which btw not an entirely bad way to celebrate), but I wanted to post something to recognize this wonderful calling that only strongest are drawn to & wish every nurse out there a happy nurses week & remind them they’re incredible!
^^ #TBT to nursing school, when finally getting to wear scrubs, even if they were white was cool!
When it comes to traveling, especially abroad, I always pack a few musts to both prevent & treat the unexpected! As a ER nurse I know the worst way to spend your vacation is in an ER so this blog is meant to give you a list of some simple over the counter items you can pack on your next trip to keep you feeling your best.
- Hand sanitizer – the number one way to prevent getting sick is to wash your hands. Sometimes that’s not always an option so having hand sanitizer easily available before you put your hands on a delicious sandwich or tapas is one of the easiest & most effective things you can do. I like taking a hand sanitizer with a mist spray that way the first thing I can do when I board a flight is to spray down my tray table, seatbelt, armrests etcetera. I know this may sound crazy OCD but those planes A: don’t get cleaned after each flight & B: sick people fly all the time. So if the person before you had a nasty head cold you’ll be picking up all those germs.
- Emergen-C – These little individual powder packets are a great way to also keep your immune system up. Pour one into that little airline cup of water they bring you & you’ll thank yourself. Side note: they also make for great hangover prevention if you drink one or two the before you crawl into bed (tried & true)!
- Visine / Eye Drops – Nothing dries your eyes out more than recycled airplane air. I usually opt for glasses over contacts, especially for long flights, but putting a few drops of Visine in your eyes intermittently or before you pop your contacts in can make you feel like a new person!
- Ibuprofen – The cure-all. I never go anywhere without it. Headache / back ache / hangover you name it. 600mg & you’ll feel right as rain.
- Tea – I was never a huge tea drinker until a few years ago & now this is something that I pack with me when I travel. I pack a handful of different teas, they’re small and compact so even if I don’t drink them all it’s no big deal. Not to mention airplanes are typically freezing so drinking something nice & warm that isn’t coffee can be really nice. Air travel can make your body hold onto excess water so I like to pack Weightless Tea which helps relieve excess water. Along those lines a nice Detox Tea is good to have on hand. Often when we travel we’re eating & drinking things that we may not normally which can then in turn impede on our normal routine so Smooth Move Tea can help if you find yourself struggling to adjust to new cuisine.
- Medicine Kit – What kind of nurse would I be if I didn’t have a little mary poppins-esque medicine kit for all the ailments. In here I put individually enclosed doses of: DayQuil / NiQuil, Benadryl, Non-Drowsy Allergy medicine (loratidine), Zantac for heartburn, & Sudafed. I don’t pack tons of these meds but enough for 1 or 2 doses. And someone non medical might read this & think it’s excessive, but I will say that I usually use something out of this box per trip & it’s cheaper / easier to just bring it ahead of time. As an aside (in most states it’s illegal to have unidentified pills, so make sure they’re individually wrapped & marked with what medication it is, otherwise you may find yourself having to do some explaining to a TSA perosn). I found the little medicine box in the Dollar Spot at Target & just grabbed a couple.
- Fem Wipes – These are great to have on hand just in case. You never know when you might find yourself in a restroom that’s out of toilet paper or when you may need a quick refresh. These are small & easy to stoy in a little pouch. Like most things on this list it’s easily packable & better to have than to be frantically trying to find an alternative.
A must that I take with me on all trips but I didn’t include on this list because a prescirption is needed is a small course of antibiotics. I’ve found myself across the country with a UTI trying to find a pharmacy while in terrible pain & discomfort. Definitely a less than ideal situation. Most doctors are willing to write a prescription for this just in case scenario. I just talk to my doctor before I leave on a trip. Again, it’s far easier to reach in your bag & have what you need then be scrambling & feeling terrible.