Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jazz-a-rific!

Last night I went to a jazz concert with jesse for his jazz class.....here is a video of the performance! They were pretty good! It made me miss the good old band days back in high school! I might even bring out the good ole clarinet for a refresher course. I even thought about taking a class or finding a church band to play in.....we will see what comes my way....The good thing is i still remember the fingerings and how to read music too! Woo!

  video

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mommy & Me.....

Well, no one showed up to my meeting. I was disappointed at first, but it was the week of thanksgiving and a very nice day outside. I can understand. Also, i need to advertise it better! I am going to post it at the library and then pass it out to all the headstart centers and around town! Hopefully next  time will be more of a success!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mommy & Me

Tonight is my first mommy & me meeting! Boy am I nervous, but also excited! I hope that some moms show up!  I have created a powerpoint on creating nifty toys for your children through household items and how to use their imagination! At the end, we are creating shaker! I have made mine into a lion! It's lacking some color because the markers are at the library! Oh golly, i hope at least one person shows up! This meeting was not as advertised as i would like it to be. But the new mommy & me brochure will be done soon and i will be giving them out to resources in the next coming weeks! As time goes on, i hope people pass along the word! To the library I go......


"The Breast is the Best!" continued....

I must give credit to a few fellow success corps members in creating the tag line "the breast is the best." Thanks for the perfect line to add to my brochure! I think that it will be a hit! Here is my latest brochure! This is one of my favorites! I am also in the midst of talking to the hospital about putting my brochures on the labor & delivery floor as well as out with other brochures they have to offer throughout the floors! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they like them all!


 This week is Thanksgiving and it will be the first time I am away from home for a holiday! I will be spending it with Jesse's family and I couldn't be more excited! I will miss being with my family, but can't wait to see how others spend their Thanksgiving! All of his family will be there and it should be a good time! We might even be able to go hiking! Of course, there will be boggle involved and a mean game of scrabble. I should def. brush up on my vocabulary! All in all, i can't wait!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What do you think? Would you do it?

Your Baby Can Save A Life

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/11/18/umbilical.cord.public.banks/index.html

"The Breast is the Best!"

Currently, i am working on my breastfeeding brochure for the library! It is coming along very nicely! Also, my first Mommy & Me meeting is on Monday and I couldn't be more nervous! I'm not sure if anyone will actually show up. But if some do, i am hoping that they have a good time! Hopefully, i can keep them interested and wanting to come back next time! We will be making toys out of household items! If you have any suggestions, please let me know! I am in the midst of a new mommy & me brochure to leave places and hand out to resources once i figure out if the 4th monday of each month works for moms. This monday is a trial period. Photos will come at a later date!

Kitten update: It's official, she LOVES to play fetch! This morning at 7am, she brought her ball to me in bed! When you hold that ball in your hand and get ready to throw it, she is like a dog and stares and fixes herself to sprint to get the ball (it's harder to explain than it is to just show, but i hope you get the idea)!!! She also has this cute little chirp! She is a great cat so far! Her women surgery is in the middle of December! I took the day after off to take care of her! I'm sure she will be sore and need the extra love! Wish me luck on my meeting! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Learning to let go of the bad......and mend broken friendships

This has been on my mind lately.

There have been two times in my life that i have let other people change my experiences and lost people i admired and loved. One time was while i was studying abroad in France and the other was going back to the ranch after my dad passed. What happened in france was childish girl jealously but what happened at the ranch still effects me today. The hardest part of it all is losing the friendship and love i had for the owners of the ranch. I was a wreck that 2nd summer and hated (yes, i said it) the world! The summer before i formed this great friendship with both of them and felt i could come to them about anything, especially D. He was not admired by a lot of the people because of his hard front. But i had made an unexpected connection with him! I got through that hard, cold shouldered man and found his soft side. He was like a grandpa to me! I felt comfortable asking him anything and cracking jokes with him. Many were afraid he would crack on them if they joked around with him. With L, she was like a 2nd mom to me. I would come to her when i was cut or had a bug bit and played up the hurt and she would go out of her way to help me! I gained their trust and love. But the 2nd summer was completely different. I would get mad at L and take my anger out on her. I tried to be myself, but i was too hurt and afraid of getting hurt again to open up as i did the first summer. I lost the opportunity to have great friendships like i did the 1st summer and even lost some of the strength in some of the friendships I had with some of the returning staff. I lost the love and trust of the owners. I felt like a part of their family. But after that summer of craziness, i have lost them. I have tried to contact them but my attempts have been either overlooked or disregarded. Maybe they are reading them, but just not ready to talk to me quite yet. It hurts to know that i effected that family like i did. I wasn't myself at that time and i think they realized that but let that person stick with them. If i had the chance to go spend a summer out there with them again, i would in a heart beat. To feel the warmth of being a part of their family and the experiences on their ranch, i would be ever so grateful! I think that they would be proud of me because of how far i have come from that summer. I wish i could share with them the person i am now and share where i am going in life! I want them to see that the happy, go lucky, Jenni they knew, just with a different outlook on life and where i am going in the future. At times, tears run down my face when i think about how just one thing effected me so much that summer. There are so many great memories but at times that summer seems to bombard the good and just leave all the bad. Just to hear a simple hi from them would change everything.

It would reassure me that no one is perfect and people can forgive. I would feel better about them "having" to be there and "having" to care. It would mean they actually did care and did want to be there. It would mean they understood what was going on in my life and really wanted to help me through it. I have apologized for the madness and thanked them for being there, what else can i do? Maybe that is all i can do. The feeling of not being accepted really pulls my strings and hurts me like nothing else. It's hard for me to accept that someone might not accept me for my faults. I wish they could look pass them, and lend a "it's ok i understand, I accept you for who you are." Gosh, why does this hurt me so much?

Hopefully i will hear from them? Maybe i should call, but then i feel as if i am trying to hard and put them in an awkward position if they don't want to talk to me. But hey, what could i lose if i did? I would finally know that they are really avoiding me or if they really cared and wanted to talk! I am going to put myself out there, do what many might be afraid of, and call them! Maybe i should have tried calling them in the first place. Wish me luck in the coming weeks to build up the courage and call them!

Fall Institute & the beauty of a women's body

Yesterday, we, the success corps members, attended one day of the fall institute! The morning involved attending two breakout sessions and then lunch. The sessions i attended was on fetal alcohol syndrome and then 4-h and the resources they have to offer! After a nice steak lunch, we went upstairs for our breastfeeding class by our MIHOW training coordinator. I loved it! I am def. a breastfeeding advocate and will continue to pass along the information. I am even going to look into also getting certified as a lactation consultant while at midwifery school! I can remember when my mom was breastfeeding i was always interested in what she was doing and how it helped the baby. While she would feed my siblings, i would get a doll and pretend to feed my doll as she would my sister. 

We did a little activity  during the session and here are the results!

 

Obviously, the chart is showing how breastmilk is better for the baby and the mom! This is my inspiration for my next brochure for babes and tots! If any of those brochures makes an impact on someone, i hope that this one will leave the biggest! I must say that i really appreciate my moms openness with children with me and giving me the opportunities she did. She would let me help change diapers, bathe, hold, and even "help" and watch breastfeed my siblings. By help, i mean just sit there and make sure the baby was doing ok and then maybe burp her/him! She wanted to make sure that i felt like i was helping and being a big sister. I was changing diapers by the age of 4! haha. I feel as if she wasn't as open with everything, i would feel different about babies and breastfeeding! It was great. The lady training us had her 10 year old son with her helping with the computer and pass out papers. But i was so happy that she was open and honest with him about breastfeeding and wasn't like don't look you are too young to be looking at breasts etc. I loved how she taught him breastfeeding is a natural thing and that is what breasts were made for. We all were talking about breastmilk and how it leaks, doesn't leak, and if it leaks how much. But then she commented on how if you hmmmm, it squirts out. The girl she was talking to didn't get it and she came out and said orgasm in front of her 10 year old boy. He didn't question her at that time but might have later on. I don't know if he really knew what we were talking about or not, but he was completely ok with everything. Not a funny face or a questioning look. If he did ask about, (which he may not have because 1. she might have taught him what it was or 2. because he just thought it was part of feeding a baby) how would you explain it? I look up to her openness and not hiding things from her children. They will encounter it at some point in time and why lie to them or try to cover it up. Granted, i don't have children so i really don't know if that is the best choice. But looking on it from the perspective of a curious child and what i was told about things, i think that honestly is the best choice! 

One day my dad was drawing a picture and i had asked to look at it. It was a pair of breasts. At first i thought it was weird and eghhhh gross. I asked him why he drew those and he said that "they are your mommies, they are beautiful! They were made for you and your siblings." Not knowing it at that point, my dad taught me that a women's body is beautiful because of what it's capable of and because of what it does, it looks beautiful! I think that this is why i find pregnancy such a beautiful thing. It's because he showed me how beautiful he thought my mom was/is and how pregnancy is an amazing thing in life! I find it truly amazing that we are capable of creating and carrying such a miracle! One of the best things ever was one day when he asked me to go to the store with him one night! I was 9 at the time and excited to have some alone dad time. We got there and went to the cake section and got a cake with the number 4 written in frosting. I asked him why and he said "It's for mom. What do you think?" I thought and thought  and finally figured it out! She was going to have a baby! It was great! I felt so special because no one knew that she was pregnant except me, my mom, and my dad. We took the cake home and surprised her and the rest of the family! Everyone was so excited! It was a great celebration! From then on my mom being pregnant was the best thing ever and everyone was very excited! I must say, when my mom was pregnant she gave off this great glow, i still remember it to this day! I remember her fluffy hair, a big smile, a humbling laugh, and a pregnant belly! I will never forget! When rach was born, i brought her in for show in tell! haha. I still laugh to this day about it!  I wonder if she knows that? Well, now she does! I still remember how my dad looked at each of my younger siblings and the joy in his eyes and heart! I remember the soft voice he was speak with and the way they would interact with him. I wouldn't forget that for a moment. We were all very special to him and held a special happy place in a heart filled with hurt and pain.

It's weird, but at times, i still get that "i just want my mommy feeling." There is nothing like my mom taking care of me while i am sick or  a mothers hug! I am guilty of playing up my sickness so she would devote a little extra time to just me and give me that extra sympathy! But who doesn't want a little extra special mom only time? I even miss those days of cuddling up in her bed right before she wakes up to find me right next to her. When i was little she used to smile and hug me close, now she is like "what do you want and why are you in my bed," haha. The more and more i explore my relationships with my parents the more i realize the impact they have had on me and how it continues to change.  It impacts how I look at life and my future relationships!
 
I hope one day, I will be as open with my children as my mom and dad were with me! I hope that my future husband shows them the beauty of life and women as my dad did to me! I hope i can be as fortunate as my parents and have 4 amazing, healthy, children who continue to grow into amazing adults and continue their journey through life!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

AmeriCorps keeps on giving!

I must say that AmeriCorps has helped me figure out my calling in life! Going into the program, i knew that i wanted to do something in the medical field such as a PA or a nurse practitioner working with children! Then, I figured out what really makes me happy in life, CHILDREN!! I knew this all along, but not to the extent that i would discover. Working with the pregnant moms on their concerns, joys, and excitements through pregnancy and after,  i finally figured it out. It's the joy of bringing a little one into the world that makes me the happiest! I think that thing that pushed me over was while visiting with the teen moms at the conference. This girl was about 5 weeks away from her due date and i had spoken with her before while doing the onesies. I, of course, asked if i could feel her baby kick if she started to move. When i felt that baby kick me and the excitment the mom and i shared, i knew this is what i wanted to do and pursue. She saw how excited i was and i think that it brought to reality that she was going to be having a baby soon and how exciting it was going to be. Granted, i have felt many bellies, but every time i feel a new kick that exciting and thrilling joy overcomes my body! It doesn't matter if it's the same mommy or a different one. I still get that 'owh my gosh, there is a baby growing in you, you have created a bundle of joy, and I can feel him/her!' Ahhhhh! I love it! I can't imagine what i am going to be like when i am married and pregnant! haha. I am that women that sees a pregnant women and rushes over to ask if i could feel the baby kick, im kinda like a kid on christmas when it comes to that. I usually explain that i am going back to school to become a midwife and the moms completely understand my "creepiness" for coming over and asking to feel her belly. What would i have done without AmeriCorps and my experiences through them?

I also need to remember that becoming a midwife will be a long and hard journey, but if anyone can do it, i think i can! I hope to be inspiration to those following their dreams and need the extra push to work towards it! When i was a freshman in college, i taped a little piece of paper from a real simple magazine that said, "find a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life," to my computer to remind myself that i need to do something that makes me happy! I have finally found that "job"!  Woooooooooooooo!

There is a girl I work with at my other job that is in school right now and wants to be a midwife as well. I love talking with her! She completely understands my excitement as i do hers! I don't know the right word for it, either weird, funny, a coincidence, etc. But she comes from a family where her dad is an alcoholic and never a father figure in her life. He was never there and they rarely speak. Sounds familiar doesn't it!  I wonder if our two experiences have helped us decide to become midwives? Our decision to celebrate children and find happiness in birth and children! or is it that we want children to be loved as much as they can because we weren't loved to our fullest and brushed aside? As of right now, i want the dad to be a major factor in the birth of his child. I want to show him how exciting it can be and how much this little thing will love him and how much he will love the baby! Obviously, i hope that same for the mother but it is a little different for a mother than it is a dad. I want to help him with the bond with this little bundle of joy and the excitement of having made such an amazing life! My experiences have definitely shaped me into the person i am today and who i want be in the future! I am grateful for those experiences the good and the bad!

Future education plans!

Well, the urge to start working towards becoming a midwife is as strong as ever. I wish that i could hold a book to my head transfer the knowledge to my brain and then poof, I am a nurse midwife! Haha yeah right! I just really want to get in there and start my career. I feel such at ease with this decision. J and I were out to dinner one night and he asked me about being a midwife and I said "This is it, this is what i want to do." With a big sigh i said, "I feel at ease, good about it, and really excited." This was the first time I have felt this way about choosing a career. After changing my degree many times during college and then finishing my degree in elementary education, i never felt at ease and "ahhhhh, this is what i am going to do the rest of my life." It's hard to describe the feeling but it's a good one! Actually, a great feeling! A feeling that is really hard to explain and i feel as if many people are still searching for it.

This is my plan on how I am going to become a nurse midwife.

First i have to get my degree in nursing. To do this I am planning on applying to a 2nd degree accelerated program here at EKU. The nursing program is the best in the state of KY! The program is super competitive, 20 out of 100 are selected. To make sure that i am in one of those 20 spots, i am going to 4 point all my prereq's which include, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and nutrition (this is what an adviser had told me to do to guarantee a spot). Thankfully i had take stats within 5 years of applying to the program and won't need to take that class.  After finishing my prereqs next fall semester, i will then apply to the program which starts the following fall. I am hoping to be able to do AmeriCorps again next year as well! I have had such a great experience doing it, i want to continue visiting the moms and babies and growing with them thus far. I can't imagine what it would be like following them for 2 full years! Truly, i think that it would be an amazing, once in a life-time opportunity! Back to school. After i graduate from EKU, which J and I will probably do at the same time (very exciting), start my masters at a midwifery school! There are about 20 different schools that offer midwifery, i can't wait to see which one i'll chose.

Laid out it looks like this:

summer/fall 2011: prereq's
spring 2012: apply to the accelerated program
fall 2012: start the accelerated program
December 2013: graduate!

Either summer/fall 2014: start masters at a midwifery school
Spring 2016: Graduate with a masters in midwifery
Then on: help moms delivery healthy babies!

Looking at this, everything rides on getting accepted into the accelerated program at EKU, unless i take the traditional route and spend 2+ years getting my BSN, which is my back up plan. But I am a very hard worker and love school, oddly enough, and think that I will be able to achieve my calling in life! There may be a few road blocks here and there but I can take a detour and get around them!  This is an exciting adventure that i can't wait to start! Applying to EKU will start after the first of the year and will begin taking classes either during the summer or starting fall semester. I'm not sure which one i will do. I am trying to gain residency in KY first and then go from there!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Phone Anyone?

I was wondering if anyone had a spare/old (sim capable) phone that they no longer use?  And would be willing to donate to one of the moms i am working with?  She has a plan and everything, she just needs the phone! I have tried different places in the community but they are only used for emergency calls and not capable of anything else. If you do please let me know! You can email me at scarffje28@gmail.com!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fall Festival!!!

This week the head of a group called Madison Moms asked me to take part in the fall festival at a local day care! I put together a craft and made a sample! Also, my mommy and me info was featured in their monthly newsletter! I am hoping more families will contact me! I am also putting together a monthly group activity on November 22nd at the library where we will be creating toys out of household items! I am excited for this because i have never made these toys and I'll be learning as well. There will be def. be a good amount of research on what toys we could make!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baby galore!

This morning i volunteered at the hospital. This time i was on my own and was able to visit each floor and ask if they needed any assistance. Of course, i went to the nursery/labor and delivery floor first! They had me make little hats for the babies! They are not the cutest things ever but very crafty and get the job done! Here is what they looked like:


As i was sitting there doctors and nurses would come in and i would introduce myself and then she came in! The midwife that works through the womens health center and I just happened to be there while she was doing rounds! I introduced myself and she was like i am R. I hesitated for a moment and realized who she was and Ahhhh! It was great! I was like i have been trying to get in contact with you to talk about your experience as a midwife!!! We chatted for a few minutes and she said she'd love to meet with me! I can't wait! After I was done making the hats, I went down to registration and helped at the front desk, signing in people and pushing a few in wheelchairs. I left with a giant smile on my face because 1. there were twins in the nursery, 2. i got to meet the midwife, 3. i was able to help the nurses 4. everyone appreciated my help! 5. I am becoming more comfortable in my setting! I don't know what it is but i love being in the hospital! I can't wait to tell some of the moms that i made the hats the babies will be wearing after they are born!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eghhh!

Yesterday, I was to attend a literacy event for elementary school students, an issue came up and i ended up getting there right as it started. I created the poster and was to bring all the supplies for the person i was meeting there. She was freaking out and was disappointed when i showed up late. Not only was i late but i had forgotten a sign in sheet at home. I really hate disappointing/letting down people.  I usually never use the hate word, but this is one thing that i feel strongly about and try my hardest not to do. Last night was a reminder that i am not perfect and there are going to be times in life where i may let someone down and i can't stop it. I try really hard not to, but once in a great while something comes up and it leads to leaving one disappointed. As the night went on, she warmed up to me and was ok with everything because it all worked out. To try and turn the whole night into a positive and not think about it, i over came a fear!

I touched 2 snakes and held one!! Ahhhhhhhh! After moving here and hearing about all the snake encounters, my fear of them heightened. But I went up told them i was scared, wanted to touch it, and did just that. It was the initial first touch that i was afraid of because i didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if it was going to react to my touching it or how it was going to feel. You would think that it would be slimy but it wasn't. The one i held was kinda sandpapery. I came home and showed Jesse the picture! He was so proud! I was super proud as well!I think my mom would be proud too! She squirms if she sees a snake on tv, let alone made us go into the amphibian exhibit at the zoo by ourselves because she disliked them so much!

All in all the night turned out well! A ton of people showed up and took what we had to offer, books, literature on reading, hand sanitizers, and pretzels. My poster was on reading and introduced what literacy was. I felt that many people don't actually know what literacy is and might want to learn a little about it. I wasn't even really sure what it involved until my literacy education class last year. There were many booths and free books! It was a nice event and hope they do it again in the future!