Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Jeff and I made it safely to Hawaii!! We had a four hour lay over yesterday in Seattle. We were greeted with a temperature of 55 degrees and RAIN! We went to our favorite restaurant for lunch and then took the taxi back to the airport to get our next flight for Hawaii. We decided to do a picture of the day. We got a new camera before coming here for our anniversary, so we will be taking lots of pictures and playing with lenses, aperture, and flashes etc. This is today's picture that Jeff took this morning while I was still sleeping. Don't worry I will get back to my pregnancy stories soon.

Enjoy these photos. Hawaii is a GORGEOUS state.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Am I pregnant?

December 2002
Jeff and I had been trying now for a few months to conceive our first child. I was beginning to have a ‘feeling’ this month that things were different and in fact maybe I was pregnant. (Warning this post is not for the squeamish!)

I was at work one night caring for a patient. I don’t remember why he was there, but it was kind of strange that he was on our floor. In the ICU 90% of the patients are on a ventilator or CPAP machine. This patient was breathing room air just fine and was even ambulatory asking if he could go use the restroom. What he did not understand about the floor he was on was that there are no bathrooms in the rooms. On an ICU floor there is no need for restrooms in the rooms due to the fact that these patients normally have a Foley catheter in place and that they are bedridden. So again, why I had this patient I do not remember, but what I do remember is that he needed to have a bowel movement. He then told me that he had not had a bowel movement in over a week! I got him a bed pan and allowed him his privacy. When I went back to his room to empty his bed pan I about threw up on the floor right there. It was the worst smell ever. I felt like my sense of smell had become stronger by 1000%. I made it in time to the bathroom before I got sick! (Thank goodness) I literally went running out of his room. I later apologized to him. Another thing that I observed was coming home and the smell of coffee in our home. Jeff drinks coffee and just the smell of the coffee grounds made me nauseated. The final clue was that I had not started my menstrual cycle. These are all pretty good signs. I went to the store and bought a home pregnancy test. I was so encouraged by the fact that the box stated “now test up to 3-5 days before your missed period.” I took the test and it was negative.

A few more days passed and I decided to take another home pregnancy test. I still had not started my menstrual cycle. This time if you squinted you may be able to see a very faint line, but then again maybe my mind was doing tricks with me. So I decided to call my OB and have a blood test drawn. When I went into her office on 12-16-02 they drew the blood. I went home and was excited for the following day to find out the results. Instead I got a phone call from my OB office stating that they spin the blood and that my sample did not spin correctly. I then went back to the office to have my blood taken again.

12-17-02 I received a phone call from Dr. H and I was indeed pregnant. My HCG level was 98 making me 1-2 weeks pregnant. I called Jeff and my mom to tell them about the good news. Jeff was so excited. People kept telling me that he started pacing and saying “I am going to be a dad!”
1-3-03 today was the first time Jeff and I got to see our little bean on the big screen. There really was nothing to see, but they did show us the small flick that was our baby’s heartbeat. What an amazing feeling!
1-3----1-13-2003 I do not know the correct date. I was in the shower one morning and when I got out I noticed some blood. I figured I cut myself shaving. I checked my legs over and there was no blood. I then realized that the blood was coming vaginally. I was horrified. I called my mom! I always call mom. She said call your doctor right away. So I called Dr. H and although it was so early in my pregnancy she took a proactive approach. She told me to call off work and go lie down on my left side. So I did just that.

This was a scary time for me and our family. My sister had two miscarriages early on. I was very naïve when it came to this whole pregnancy thing, but I knew that the bleeding was not a good sign. I was lucky that it was light and more or less like spotting. I stayed on bed rest for a few weeks.

1-13-2003 I was referred to the hospital to the maternal fetal specialists to have another higher tech ultrasound done. It was determined that I was around 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant, there was a fetal heart beat, and NO OBVIOUS SOURCE OF BLEEDING was identified. I was still unable to go to work and another letter was sent to my job explaining that I was on bed rest and unable to return to work.

My Dr. also decided that I needed to have some blood work done to determine if I have any thrombophilia disorders. I was lucky in that my sister and I shared the same Ob. After her two miscarriages before her next pregnancy she had the blood work done for thrombophilias. They found that she is homozygote for MTHFR. I was heterozygote for MTHFR, but they found I was homozygote for something called PAI-1. What does this mean? PAI-1 is the primary inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in plasma. Individuals (ME) with 4G/4G genotypes have a higher risk for venous and arterial thrombosis. In pregnant women, 4G homozygosity is a risk factor for fetal loss, IUGR, preeclampsia and preterm delivery. The treatment for me is to take a baby aspirin daily for the rest of my life. Also there were some studies at the time for using a drug called Glucapage. This drug is in fact used for diabetes. So it was determined that if I ever got pregnant again they would start me on this medication.

I was allowed to go off bed rest when I had no bleeding episodes for a two week period.
1-28-2003 I made it two weeks with no bleeding. I called my OB to obtain a “go back to work slip”. She agreed and I was allowed to return to work for 3 8hour shifts only. I was not to lift anything heavy either. This made going back to work very difficult! I am constantly turning bedridden patients every two hours so they don’t get skin breakdown. HMM
I was able to get other nurses and aides to turn my patients. Everything worked out.

Jeff was out of town one weekend away in another state for a friend’s wedding. He was in the wedding. Because of the problems I was having I did not attend. I will never forget this night for the rest of my life! I went to Subway and got some dinner. My usual 6 inch ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on Italian white. I was feeling great. By the time I got home I just had to go to the bathroom. I was in my scrubs and ready to eat and then get the dogs taken care of before heading to work. When I went into the bathroom I noticed that my underwear was completely soaked red. I was shocked. I felt nothing. I ran to the phone and called my mom. Who told me to get off the phone with her and call my Doctor. The first thing out of her mouth was you can call off work now and get on your left side. I then tried calling Jeff. This was not like the first bleeding episode at all. This was scary bleeding like I am expecting all of my insides to fall out. I changed my clothes and put a pad in my underwear and went to lie down. Back to Jeff he is at a wedding. His phone is off. He has no idea what is going on at the homestead. I felt so bad for him, but at the same time was so angry because I just wanted to talk to him. We just went through bleeding what is going on? I just did an extra two weeks on bed rest and made it with no problems. An hour passes and I am watching some game network channel. I got up to use the restroom and to see how things are going down there. I look on the pad and it is soaked. To top it off this time there are now quarter size pieces of clots dropping into the toilet. I begin to freak out and telling me this is it. This baby cannot survive this. I called Jeff’s phone again. It is still off. I call my mom again. She says go lie down. I am a wreck. Another hour passes and I go through the same thing. Another soaked pad more clots. I call my mom again. I said I am coming to get you we are going to the hospital.

I do NOT like surprises. I wanted to know what was going on. If I was losing this baby I needed to know and prepare myself.

2310 February 8 2003 we arrived at the hospital. I was 12 weeks into this pregnancy now. I was put into a room expecting the worst. When you have vaginal bleeding the last thing you want is a really cute doctor entering your room. That is what happened on top of the fact that I am sitting there with nothing on underneath my gown. He wheels in his ultrasound machine and decides that because I am so early into my pregnancy that he needs to do a vaginal ultrasound. He pulls out a condom and puts it on the tip of the transducer. I take a deep breath expecting to see nothing. Low and behold there is baby. Baby looks like he is swimming the backstroke inside my womb. Baby has a heartbeat! My mom and I both got teary eyes. There was nothing that he could see that was causing this bleeding. My baby was alive. It was back to bed rest I go!
2-24-2003 back to the hospital I go to see the maternal fetal specialists. The ultrasound revealed that I was now 14 weeks 1 day pregnant. Baby had a strong heartbeat and that I had a blood clot on my placenta. Now there was a reason for the bleeding. There was nothing to do, but stay on bed rest and closely monitor this pregnancy.

3-12-2003 I had a blood test taken for alpha fetal protein. (AFP) My level came back at 3.24. This was high. According to the literature “...indicating an increased risk of an open neural tube defect or other congenital anomalies.” I got a phone call from my Dr. stating I was positive for a neural tube defect. Now what? I was then scheduled an ultrasound back at the hospital with the maternal fetal specialists, genetic counseling, and a possible amniocentesis.

3-25-2003 a GOOD day, finally. Today we found out the following during the ultrasound. I am 18 weeks 3 days pregnant. The retroplacental clot is still visible. But the best news is this “THE EXTERNAL SILHOUETTE OF THE SKULL APPEARED TO BE INTACT.” “AND THE CLOT SEEN PREVIOUSLY I SUSPECT IS THE CAUSE OF THE ELEVATED ALPHA-FETOPROTEIN.”

The last thing we found out today was that we were the proud parents of a BOY! This was quite a surprise to me! I had already been buying pink! I just ‘knew’ my baby was a girl. I always babysat girls so in my mind this had to be a girl. I think I said and told the same people over and over “it is boy” kind of like how did that happen? The pink items went back or to new homes with girls and the blue items started coming into our home. As soon as we found out you were a boy we called you Joey from then on out! You were being named after your great grandpa. I had made a promise that I intended to keep as well as wanting to honor the life of grandpa.

We were asked a few more times about making sure that there was neural tube defect and having an amniocentesis. I said no. If this baby came out with a neural tube defect we would handle it. I was not putting the baby at risk to tell me this. I felt confident in the ultrasound that this baby was just fine. I was taking extra folic acid before I even found out I was pregnant. I remember in nursing school teaching about folic acid and wearing a green ribbon to encourage others to increase their folic acid intake to decrease the chance of neural tube defects. I knew in my heart that this was not an issue for us. I was going to trust my instincts.

APRIL~ a new month and new issues. I started to receive letters in the mail from our insurance company. I worked at a good hospital and so both mine and Jeff’s insurance was through my work. The problem was that I was now not working. They wanted us to pay over $1000.00 a month for our insurance. I was bringing in no money and we did not have this ‘extra’ money. This was a big stress to me. So I had to go back to work, if my doctor agreed and I was not allowed to be doing patient care, but I was allowed to do light duty if I could find someone to take me. I talked to the human resources people and they found a spot for me in the quality improvement department. I was working part time to keep my hours. A desk job. I actually really like it. I met some great ladies. Felt a bit like an investigator which is right up my alley. I always tell Jeff I should have been a private eye or a cop. I am nosey and I like to get to the bottom of things.
The order for returning to work said “no more than 4 hours a day and no heavy lifting.” Due to the fact that the pregnancy was the most important thing to Jeff and me he tried to get insurance through his job. This proved to be a cumbersome task. We were denied because I was considered “a preexisting medical condition.” Once I delivered then it was a different story.
Besides that fiasco April proved to be an uneventful month.

MAY 2003~ the month of May was progressing well. It was decided that I would have a follow up ultrasound on the 22nd to check growth and to look at the clot.
5-22-03 I went to the appointment. I was now 26 weeks and 1 day pregnant. The baby was active. They did see some “mild dilatation of the baby’s left kidney” as well as the amount of amniotic fluid was now low. I was told I had oligohydramnios. I was yet again put on bed rest. I was to spend the weekend drinking as much water and fluids as possible and a repeat ultrasound was scheduled for the following week.

5-27-03 today was another ultrasound down at the hospital. The concerns were to recheck the amniotic fluid as well as the baby’s left kidney. The amniotic fluid level went from 6.6 cm to 17.0 cm. Much better and no longer a concern. The kidney was not dilated and no more concern. Baby was measuring 27 weeks and 6 days.

6-6-2003 today was yet another ultrasound. The purpose for this ultrasound was to look again at the fluid levels, kidneys, and baby. The baby’s heart beat was 146 bpm, the amniotic fluid level was 13.9cm, and both kidneys were normal.
At this point RELIEF was all I was feeling. I was thinking that the remainder of this pregnancy now would be smooth sailing until the finish line. Well almost. I have to have a few more scares first.
6-17-03 I am up and on my way to work in the morning. I was backing out the driveway when I felt sick to my stomach. I got out of the car and was leaning over and throwing up in the grass. I felt better after I was done and when I went to get back in the car I felt wet. So I went back in the house and was very concerned that my water broke. I have never been pregnant before and really did not know what to expect. I felt a bit of a gush but not a ton. So I call my mom. She says go to the hospital which I do. I think I may have picked her up or she picked me up. Anyways she was with me. I went to the OB triage and explained what happened and thought my water broke. Well it turns out I wet my pants. Yes, how embarrassing is that. The good thing though is that baby was only 30 weeks along. So I knew he needed more time inside to grow. I was a bit relieved that baby was not coming sooner than we all thought.

There was another time that I went into the OB triage when I was at work. Being that I worked in the hospital I was delivering at and all my appointments were at, there was one day that I just was not feeling baby. By now I was a nervous wreck about EVERYTHING so when I was not feeling much movement one morning I went up to have a nst done. I wanted to just use the Doppler here the heartbeat and be done with it, but they insisted that I lie down and do a NST. Baby was just fine. Good strong heartbeat. I was a bit relieved.

JULY 2003
7-18-03 I worked in the morning and then had a NST at my OB’s office in the afternoon. Jeff was at a company amusement park day in Sandusky which is about 2 hours away. I got the the NST and baby was showing signs of distress and decels. I was told by my OB to go straight to the hospital and have a NST done there. There was concern over her machine as well as if I needed to deliver then I would be at the hospital. I was a bit frantic. Again my mom, dad, Jeff, aunt, uncle, sister, etc were all at this amusement park 2 hours away. So I got a hold of Jeff and he drove up to the amusement park with my aunt and uncle. The three of them jump in a car and start driving probably toooo fast to get to the hospital. It turns out that baby was doing okay...
At this point we are getting farther and farther. I had now formed a pretty good relationship with my OB. I think that she was very proactive, caring, and on the ball with my pregnancy. She and I had felt like we climbed a mountain together. She was not going to have me go 40 weeks. The literature also supported this because of the thrombophilia. We decided on having an induction and she had me go into the hospital on Sunday August 3rd 2003. They would then start the induction process.

I have to admit that when I thought of pregnancy this is not what I ever imagined. When you see the shows on television or movies no one that I had ever seen had gone through so much stuff to carry a baby to term. I was going into this thinking that every mother has a glow and all women look so cute when they are pregnant. I was wrong there too. I had never had acne like I did with this pregnancy. To the point that I had acne on my chest and shoulders as well as my face. I felt like one giant zit. Being on bed rest so much and not exercising I went from being 5’3” and 135 pounds to being 5’3” and almost 200 pounds! I was huge!! I was swollen and when I walked I could fell fluid in my legs. It was a strange sensation. But I was almost at the end of this. I was so excited to see this baby and hold him for the first time. I was so excited to have him out of my ribs. Joey I did not mention was also breech for a long time in this pregnancy. There was talk of maybe a cesarean section because he was breech. He loved to be up in my ribs and he sat high in my chest.
Sunday August 3rd………

This picture was taken about two weeks before I delivered. My face tells it all. I can't believe that was me. My husband looks so young!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Joseph Frank

Although my blog starts in the past and is working towards the present day, I need to add this post which makes my blog out of order. I feel that for my kids this is an important post. Growing up I am sure we all have people who enter our lives that we look up to, admire, or feel have made a big impact on our life. The person that I admired growing up was my grandpa. His name was Joseph and he went by Joe.

My grandpa was born on 3-13-1914. He was born in Milwaukee and moved to Ohio after his graduation from the University of Wisconsin. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering. He used his degree by working at the Chemical Division of Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for 43 years. My grandpa married and had 4 kids. I never met my grandma. She passed away when my dad was only 16. My dad was the third child. My grandpa never remarried and he was able to care for four kids and send them all to college on his own. He was a wonderful father.

I have many fond memories of my grandpa. Growing up he came to our home once a week for dinner. He also would go to my other aunt/uncle homes once a week for dinner. Whenever he came he always came with a half gallon of Friendly’s ice cream in hand. Our freezer always had at least three to four flavors of ice cream at any given time. He taught us about the “clean plate club” and made sure we never looked too thin. Whenever he was asked what type of ice cream he wanted after dinner his standard answer was always “whatever you want to get rid of.”
He attended all of our sporting events. Not just mine and my siblings but my cousins also. He was always at the swim meets, gymnastic meets, field hockey games, track meets, basketball games, baseball games, and football games. His nine grandchildren became his pride and joy besides his dogs.

My grandpa always had a four legged friend in his home. He took a love to any and all dogs no matter the breed or size. He often would make himself a sandwich for lunch and at the same time make one for his dog(s). He ate ice cream and the dog(s) helped lick the spoon and the bowl.

I was very close to my grandpa. I enjoyed his company. I was one of his “brats”. Not all nine of us were brats, but in the end I think it was a good thing to be one of his brats. He was at times feisty and very funny. He would get frustrated and say “damn” and the next thing out of his mouth was always “oh excuse me all to hell.” I love the fact that he never remarried and the memories of my grandma were always in his mind. He lived a simple life and was always kind and considerate of others. As he got older the fact that he lived alone started to show. My aunt (youngest child) and her husband and daughter moved in with grandpa. They lived and cared for him the remainder of his life. I know for all of their sacrifices I am grateful. Had my grandpa went into a nursing home or assisted living I think it would have changed him. He was a Badgers fan. Many of my cousins went to Ohio State. This always made the Ohio State vs. University of Wisconsin fun games to watch.

In March of 2000 my grandpa was getting sick. I was with him when we went to the hospital and found out that he was in kidney failure. He was soon put into hospice. He was given a few weeks and we were lucky to have an extra 4 weeks with him. We were there every day. We were able to spoil him with frostys from Wendy’s, back rubs, visits with the dogs.
This was when I was first starting to date Jeff. I was lucky that Jeff got to meet him one time. This was important to me. I always wanted my grandpa and dad to walk me down the aisle. So to have Jeff meet him when we first started dating was a good thing. We just wish the circumstances were different and the he had not been so sick the first time they met. Besides saying “hello” they really had no other conversation. I can only tell Jeff what a wonderful man he was.

Before my grandpa passed away I had a talk with him alone. I was able to tell him how much I loved and admired him. I told him that if I ever had a son I was going to name him Joseph after him. In typical grandpa style he said “what would you do that for?” He was a wonderful man that I miss dearly.
After the funeral the following day my cousin had a base ball game. Many family members were there and during the game the Good Year blimp circled above the sky. This would turn out to be our own personal family sign of grandpa. This blimp is ALWAYS showing up on days when you need it, or days that are meaningful to our family.

When I’m gone
When I come to the end of my journey
And I travel my last weary mile,
Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
And only remember the smile
Forget unkind words I have spoken;
Remember some good I have done.
Forget that I ever had heartache
And remember I’ve had loads of fun.
Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
And sometimes fell by the way.
Remember I have fought some hard battles
And won, ere the close of the day.
Then forget to grieve for my going,
I would not have you sad for a day,
But in summer just gather some flowers
And remember the place where I lay,
And come in the shade of evening
When the sun paints the sky in the west.
Stand for a few moments beside me
And remember only my best.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Nurses dispense comfort, compassion, and caring without even a prescription. ~Val Saintsbury

Fall of 2002

I began a new job now that wedding was over and we were settled into our new home. I started working in the ICU. The unit has two wings to it, the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) and the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU). Starting a job in the ICU was ironic in many ways. When I was in nursing school I wanted to be an OB nurse. That was my major goal until I had my first clinical rotation in the OB unit. I was in a major Cleveland hospital and was not accustomed to the many things I witnessed. My whole rotation which was one semester in length I had ONE couple that was a married couple. The majority of the patients I cared for were single moms, (no dad in the picture now that the mom was pregnant), many of the patients had a substance abuse problem, and sexually transmitted diseases. One day I had a patient that was 12 and just gave birth. Yes, I typed that right, 12! When I went into her room for postpartum care she was watching cartoons and someone had brought her some coloring books that she was coloring in. As I observed her I then noticed the precious baby that she had given birth to moving around in her bassinet. I was so sad for both of them. I tried to picture myself in her shoes and I was unable. At 12 years old I did not even know what sex was. At 12 years old I was still playing with dolls and Barbie. I then tried to imagine telling my mom that I was pregnant at 12 and again this was hard to imagine, because I was not even into boys at this age.
When faced with these situations as a nurse all you can do is be there for the patient and try very hard not to be judgmental. I was not there to judge these individuals, but was there to learn. Therefore I learned that I was not meant to be an OB nurse. After this experience I decided that I really wanted to go into critical care and be an emergency room nurse. So working in the ICU was a great way to get some experience. The ironic thing though is that in nursing school I was so scared in my critical care clinical. I avoided a ventilated patient as long as possible. The tubes, beeping, IV lines, ventilator, etc. all contributed to sensory overload for me. I took the job and after a week or two all of the “stuff” used to keep that patient’s alive became just that. Something not to be afraid of, but something that you know is helping this patient to live. It is knowing how everything works that calms you.

The patient who taught me more than he will ever know:
I was at work one night. When we got to work we went to a dry erase board to pick the two patients that we would care for. I picked my two and then went to rounds. One thing I loved about the ICU is that because the patients are so critical the ratio of nurse to patient is much lower than on other floors. For us it was one RN to 2 patients. I learned in report that the patient I was caring for was in his late 20’s very early 30’s. He was here because he suffered a horrific fall. He was a roofer and he was at work and putting a roof on a house. This house had skylights. He forgot about the hole for the skylight and apparently walked backwards and fell through the skylight hole. He suffered a broken arm, and horrible brain damage. The first 48-72 hours after a brain injury are the most critical. He ended up doing okay throughout the night. There were no major changes in his status.

I went to work the following evening and again had this patient. I now had met some of his family members. He was newly married (celebrating his one year anniversary the following week) and his wife was very pregnant. They did not know the sex of the baby, because they wanted it to be a surprise. Today when I got report there were no significant changes, but some concern over the patient’s vital signs. As the night progressed the patient started taking a change for the worse. He had an Intracranial Pressure device in his head. (ICP) The monitor started registering larger numbers than where it was prior. His vital signs also started to increase. I spent the majority of my night on the phone with the resident Dr. He was also now coming to the floor to check the patient again. I was crying, family members of the patient were crying, and the resident was calling other Dr.’s even at other hospitals to seek advice on any medications that could be given. We tried everything we could. I had never seen a patient have a systolic blood pressure number of 230 and not respond to medication. At one point the ICP hit in the 100’s. These are all very severe signs that things are not going to turn around for the patient. I called his wife in and talked to her. She spent some time with her husband before calling the remainder of the family. That night we gave him Morphine and as peacefully as possible let him pass away.

This story is important to me in many ways. First of all it does not matter how young or old you are. It can happen to me and it can happen to you. The fact that the patient was so young and newly married was something that I could relate to. He went to work and that ended up being a place where he would suffer a fall that would later kill him. The next lesson I learned was to be a bit more spontaneous. I decided that I did not want to wait the next 2 years or 5 years to make sure all my ducks were in a row before trying to have children. What were we waiting for? We will never have ‘enough’ money in the bank. Why put our hopes and dreams on the back burner while we plan? We are a loving couple that is married and have a great deal of love to give.
When I got home that morning Jeff had not left for work yet. He knew how much this patient had affected me and he was there to give me a big hug and kiss when I walked into the door. It was after this patient that Jeff and I sat down and started talking about kids. We knew that we both wanted kids so what was it exactly that we were waiting for when it came to trying to get pregnant?

I bought a few fertility books and Jeff and I started trying to conceive. I found out I was pregnant in December of 2002.

Wordless Wednesday

May or June? of 2007. I miss my longer hair. Gabrielle started the funny faces and Joey joined in.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Home is where the heart is

Summer/fall 2002

Jeff and I were now settled into our new home. Our weekends were normally spent by working on the lawn. When we bought the home (as you can see from the pictures) there was no lawn, landscaping, and there were many trees that began to die and needed to be taken down. One thing that I love now 6 years later is to know that every plant, shrub, flower, bush, tree, and blade of grass was because of the many hours we spent out in the yard. We have many stories about putting in the landscaping.

Here are a few of my favorite memories:

One day we went to the nursery and picked out shrubs/ plants. Jeff and I were so determined to get everything planted that we stayed out even after the sun had gone down to plant. We were the funny looking neighbors out with flashlights planting shrubs. We would then walk across the street to admire our work. If it did not look right it came out until it looked perfect in our eyes.

Before we were even able to plant the bushes, shrubs, plants, and flowers we had to first clean out the flower beds. The builders left a ton of trash and cement behind. We then had to make sure that there was proper drainage and good soil for everything to grow. I was sitting on the front porch one day watching Jeff sweat and work digging out debris when he came across a bag that looked like a zip lock bag. But it had something in it. It was also buried pretty far down. I was like Jeff what is that? That is kind of strange. He was in a bit of a mood from all the energy he had been putting into his efforts and the fact that I was sitting there watching him was probably not helping his mood. So he tells me it looks like a dildo. I am like what? No why someone would put that there? Then because I have heard of the word and never seen one I started to believe him and grew pretty curious as to what this was. I made him put on gloves before he opened the bag. He continued to tell me that it had to be a dildo and that this is what builders do. This was their way of playing a joke and they like to joke around like this. After we unwrapped the object from the bag we found a figurine. Neither of us knew what it was or why it would be buried in our front yard in our flower beds. So I told this story to anyone and everyone because it was funny to us and Jeff was so adamant that at first glance he knew that thing was a dildo. As it turns out the figurine is St. Joseph and is used to aid in the selling of homes.

“The practice of burying a St. Joseph statue to assist in selling a home or property has been around for a very long time. The tradition started when Sister Teresa of Avila (now known as Saint Teresa) and her fellow nuns started burying St. Joseph medals in ground they wanted to attain for their convents. The practice has in more recent times evolved into the tradition of burying a St. Joseph statue with a few moments of prayer. This tradition grows more popular every day. Kits are designed specifically for Home Sellers and contain everything you need to perform the tradition: the statue, instructions, history and prayer.”

Jeff and I are not Catholic. So we did get a good chance to learn something new about St. Joseph the day that we found out what the mystery object was.

My final story went something like this. I had gone to the Dr. to have a mole removed. When I returned home Jeff was in the yard. Before we put in the lawn he would be out in it using a ladder to smooth out the dirt. We also spent time getting the rocks (big and small) out of the yard. The builders left us with a terrible grade. Jeff did such a good job using a John Deere tractor that his dad let us borrow. He would move the dirt around and try his best to get the dirt level. So anyways we were just steps away from seeding and putting in the grass. Jeff was doing a final rake over on the side of the house when I was gone. When I returned home from the doctor I went out to talk to him. I could tell that something was kind of up I just did not know what. I soon learned that Jeff had been raking when he heard a scratching sound. He saw the top of a stone. So he went to try to pick it up. He was unsuccessful. So he began to move more dirt. It turns out that this small stone the size of a quarter........... turned into the size of a potato and then into the size of a watermelon and so on. This is the final “stone” that Jeff originally found. We now have this in our backyard as part of Samantha and Sydney’s garden.

These are some of the memories that I cherish most.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"I do"

By the Seaside
As we stand beside the ocean tide,may our love always be as constant and unchangingas these never-ending waves that pour beneath our feet,flowing endlessly from the depths of the sea;your love came softly upon my heart,just as the foam comes softly upon the sand,and just as there will never be a morningwithout the ocean's flow,so there will never be a daywithout my love for you.I pledge myself to you this day.Our love will be as unchangingand dependable as the tide;as these waters nourish the earthand sustain life, may my constant devotionnourish and sustain you until the end of time.

I am not a very outgoing person. I am not the person who you would ever find dancing on a stage or singing in a performance. I do not like to draw attention to myself. When it came time to plan our wedding there was a few things to take into account. For me getting married in a big church with many people watching and then having the traditional big reception with lots of dancing is not something I would ever enjoy. I avoid dancing at any and all costs. I do not really enjoy slow dancing either.
When Jeff and I went to Sanibel Island, Florida in 2000 we remember being on the beach and watching a sunset wedding. We said that was the kind of wedding we would like to have. So when it came time to plan our wedding, we already knew that that is where it would be. Never having planned a wedding before it was actually very easy. On the internet are companies that specialize in wedding ceremonies. We found a company in the location that we would like to be married. They already have a photographer that they use, they have an arch, and an officiate. The only decisions that were to be made were when we would do this and what type of flowers I wanted to carry. Jeff and I would have to go to Lee County to get the marriage certificate and that was really all there was to it. Easy and simple yet at a beautiful location that meant something to us both.
My mom and I flew down to Florida before everyone else was to arrive. We needed to meet with the lady that we signed our contract with. We also needed to make reservations for dinner and for my hair. We had fun just hanging out and I got some sun on my face and body so I did not look so pale in the photos. When Jeff arrived a few days later he and I went one day to get the marriage license. We had the rehearsal dinner at McT’s. My parents, siblings, their significant others, niece who was 8 months, my cousin (Marissa who just got engaged, was my maid of honor), my aunt, uncle, Jeff’s dad and his girlfriend of over 10 years, and brother, sister in law, and 2 nieces were all coming at some point to attend our wedding. Jeff’s brother was our best man and our two nieces were our flower girls.
The day of the ceremony it was warm, but cloudy. I kept praying that it would not rain. Jeff and I did not see each other the day we got married until it was time to say “I do.”
Here is a story that I will never forget about the day that I got married. My cousin and I went to a place to have our hair done. Over the phone I had made an appointment and was told “oh yes we can do updos”. So we were expecting to come out looking beautiful. This salon was owned by an older woman. (Elderly) that should have been my first clue to turn around and walk out. This was an important day right? One to look my best. I explained to the stylist what I wanted done and how I wanted my hair to look. She went to find a pony tail holder. She was having no luck. Hmm this is a hair salon right? So she attempts to put in my hair a rubber band. Not just a small rubber band, but a rubber band that you would see in the grocery store around a head of broccoli. I was horrified, but I did not really know what to do. She then did not really understand how I wanted my hair so she kept curling it. I was looking frightful and not like myself nor was I looking like something you would see in the year 2000. Because I do not have the ability to speak up and say I am really unhappy and don’t like how this is progressing I let the lady finish. We paid and left. Marissa and I got into the car and I did not know if I should laugh or cry. We were having a bit of a laugh. I drove down the road to where I knew another salon was. We walked in and I told them I was getting married and the girl looked at me and was horrified. They tried as hard as they could to get my hair to look like something normal. I would have had them wash it and start all over, but we were running out of time. The finished hair was better, just not how I really wanted to look on my wedding day.
As we were driving to blind pass where we would be getting married I was fine. I was not really nervous and was excited to be the Mrs. The sky turned out to be amazing. It never did rain, and because of all the clouds the sky turned into so many gorgeous colors. We got married in our bare feet and after the ceremony we all went out to dinner. My kind of wedding. No dancing, no father daughter dances, no wedding cakes, no flying garters, just relaxed and stress free with all our immediate family.
Jeff and I are now coming up on our 6th Wedding anniversary. We have been through some really tough times together. We have weathered many storms and we continue to grow closer every day. I have given birth to four children, we have lost two to still birth, we have learned how to manage money better, and we get along perfectly. We are not a couple that fights with one another and raises our voices. We never have been. We just love each other and respect each other as well as continue to be best friends and supportive. I LOVE you Jeff. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life!

On the road again

Jeff and I flew back to Ohio one weekend to go search for a new house. We decided that with all the money one spends in an apartment and gains nothing in the end a better option for us would be to purchase a house. We also had a date set for our upcoming wedding. We would be getting married on May 25th 2002. As we looked at houses we had a limited time to really spend at any one place. In the end we found a new development going up. My aunt and uncle told us about it. They were currently building a home in this development. The development had three phases to it. The first phase was still underway. On the way out after being discouraged that we were way over our price limit we saw a house that had a for sale sign. We immediately noticed that it was a bit smaller than the houses being built. For just the fun of it I had Jeff stop and we got the info for the house. We ended up setting a time to view the house. We really liked many aspects of the house. Although because it was already built and done inside to be ready to be sold many decisions that some homeowners get to make had already been determined. For example the floors were already put in. There was no carpet yet but the kitchen floors, entry foyer floors, bathroom floors were already in place. The kitchen cabinets were already in place so there was no change as far as color of the wood, the counter tops in the kitchen and bathrooms were also in place. I am really into oak wood as opposed to a light pine. So I guess this was a time to not be choosey. We ended up deciding to buy the house. We were still in over our heads as far as price, but somehow we were determined to make it work. It is a nice neighborhood, has a great location to where I would be working and Jeff would be 5-10 minutes away from his new job, the backyard would be great for the dogs. Many of the houses we looked at were right by major roads and that was a concern with the dogs. Best of all my aunt and uncle would be living right down the street from us.

March/ April 2002
When we got back to Seattle the majority of our time was spent canceling services, packing boxes, and preparing for our move. When I moved out to Seattle we spent some time viewing and stopping to enjoy parts of the country we had never seen before. This time we were going to be going at a more scheduled and faster pace. We were excited to get into our home. I would be attending a wedding shower soon. And if I remember correctly the few days before we left it would be Easter the following Sunday. I would be driving the Cherokee this time and Jeff would be driving a big u-haul truck and pulling his car.

We made it back to Ohio and had no problems. After moving into the house we had a lot to do. We had our upcoming wedding to prepare for, unpacking, Jeff starting a new job, house services to set up, and all the rest of the fun that goes into moving.

In the end the girl who moved to Seattle with big dreams and longing for independence made it out there a total of 9 months! We currently still live in the house we purchased over 6 years ago. Our house has come a long way. We have some many memories here and have added new members to our family. As well as losing a few members to our family. Our house is now a HOME that we love and are blessed to have.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Downward Spiral

As 2001 turned into 2002 my life was going in a downward spiral. I was depressed, unmotivated, and uncertain about many things. My relationship with Jeff continued to be a strong aspect of my life. As far as my living situation, job, feelings about our country, and my feelings about me in general were all areas of unease.

I started to really dislike living in Seattle. (I apologize now to anyone who lives there and thinks it is the greatest state going). Have you ever seen Sleepless in Seattle? Remember all the rain in the movie? Well that was no lie. It not only rains a great deal in Seattle it is also very dark. Here in Ohio it can be a cloudy or a gray day, but you can still see shadows to remind you that the sun exists. (Ohio is not my dream state either by the way)The rain was not helping the depression. I do much better and feel much more alive and motivated when the sun is out and shining. The time change was also difficult with my work schedule. I was working nights and Jeff would be home asleep. When most people were working I would be sleeping. I do enjoy the night shift and this was my decision to work this shift, I just did not see much of the real world. I also always had to keep in mind when calling the east coast that they were three hours ahead of us. Sometimes finding the time to call someone could be strenuous.

I enjoy nursing, but there are many aspects to a nursing job that make the job very stressful. For example I worked the 7PM-7AM shift. Now if you think that the patients are asleep during this time think again. It is busy. In a 12 hour shift I would be on my feet nonstop. I was supposed to have a lunch break and more often than not I had no time for a lunch break. It was nonstop activity. To this day I miss the patients and patient care. I miss adult conversations and the feeling of accomplishment and feeling like I am contributing to our family monetarily, but I do not miss the feeling of being so hectic and on the go. Another aspect is the fact that the hospitals are so understaffed with nurses. I had at least 6 patients in my 12 hour shift. I felt like all 5-6 of my patients were not getting the best patient care and teaching available. It is hard to be in the middle of something with a patient and have your pager constantly going off because another patient needs to go to the restroom, wants to talk to you, or just soiled their bed. Many times we had one aide on the floor, but she was helping with over 50 patients. It was crazy. Another aspect of me and just growing as a person was first hand witnessing some of the things I have seen on television or read in a book or magazine. I grew up being a pretty sheltered person as my husband and friends like to remind me. I was working in downtown Seattle passing the homeless as I started my shift. This was a county hospital and we took everyone regardless of income. I had many patients that were homeless. It was so upsetting to know that there were patients coming in for care just to get a meal, a shower, and shelter. These are the things that I took for granted. The sad stories that I kept coming into contact with were also adding to my depression. One in particular was a young girl. She had just been married and was on her honeymoon. She and her husband were in a car driving around Mount Rainer. As they were driving up the mountain the snow on some of the trees was so heavy that it caused some of the trees to snap and fall over. The tree killed her husband. She was in the ICU for quite some time. When she came to our floor she was starting to regain more of her memory. I remember crying with her. I could not even imagine. She had many broken bones and came a long way. They did not think she would make it either. Heartbreaking!

The images on television and the stories about September 11th continued. We were educated on who the attackers were, who lost family members, who lost parents, children, and loved ones. We heard story after story of heroism and we saw story after story of death and funerals. At times I would want to run from the coverage and at other times I wanted to be reminded. I wanted to know how our country was going to respond. I wanted to know why. The uncertainty and fear of what had happened when we were all so unaware of that it could happen the way it did was alarming. How safe are we? Is the government doing all they can to protect us? What can we do? These were all questions that frequented my mind.

When Jeff and I had quality time together we often spent time having “table talk”. This was just sitting at the kitchen table talking about our future, our dreams, and our wants. More often than not we were also playing a game of Scrabble. During “table talk” one night we discussed the future and we decided that maybe moving back to the east coast would be better for me. Jeff really enjoyed and liked his job. So this would be a hard decision for him. We also knew that we would be getting married it was just a matter of an engagement and when and where. I was no longer feeling comfortable just dating and living together.

One day when I went into work another RN came and was talking to me. She asked me what was wrong and I lost it. I started crying and having a panic attack. I was in the bathroom and unable to stop crying. This was another experience for me that taught me that I could no longer be so unhappy with all the things going on in my life. I ended up having her taking me off the schedule. I was unable to work let alone think clearly and be in charge of patients care in the state I was in. A few days or weeks later I found myself in Dr. Pablo’s (not real name, but the name Jeff and I gave him) office. He ended up increasing the Paxil that I was on. This was not my first panic attack and depression was something that I had been diagnosed with in 1999-2000.

One day Jeff was on the phone with my dad. My dad owns his own business. You can understand more here about the company. ( My dad offered him a position in the sales department. I have to say again that this was a very hard decision for Jeff. I am grateful every day that he took this job so that we could move closer to family and friends. Had Jeff decided not to return to Ohio I don’t know how our relationship would have turned out. I don’t know if I would have been able to stick it out in Seattle or if I would have moved back alone. This is another example though to Jeff and I how powerful God has been in our lives and our relationship.

We soon were engaged and came back to Ohio to look for a place to live. We also had a wedding to plan. Stayed tuned for the wedding and our first home in the next post!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A changing point in America and my life

September 10th 2001
Tomorrow I start my first day at Harborview Medical Center. The day will start across the street in an auditorium. All of the newly graduated nurses will be in a large group for orientation. We will then eventually move into the hospital for classroom time and then to the floors we were hired onto for patient care with another RN that will show us the ropes. Where the linens are, medications, IV kits needles, etc. After we have this we move onto providing all the patient care but having the RN (mentor) follows us and gives advice/ tips.

September 11th 2001
Today was just a normal day for me. I got up and showered and was excited and nervous at the same time for my first day of orientation. Jeff was out of town on a business trip so I did not have him to pat me on the back or kiss me good bye when I went out the door to start my first day in my new career. I got in the car and the sun had not risen yet. I pulled out of the apartment complex and was listening to the radio. I soon heard the dj talking about an airplane. I did not really understand what was going on. My first thought was that there was an airplane that had crashed somewhere in New York, but still was unaware at what had really occurred. They took a commercial break and when they came back on the air the woman dj was having difficulty keeping her emotions in check and she was crying. I still was not aware at what was occurring until they did a recap of the events that had transpired. Soon they were talking about the west coast and that the Space Needle may be a target. Here I am driving to downtown Seattle. I had not seen anything but only had the information given to me auditory. I just kept thinking “what am I doing?” Do I go to the first day of orientation? Do I just turn around and go home? Why am I in this new state alone not knowing anyone but my dogs? I made it to the hospital and was constantly looking over my shoulder and trying to be very aware of my surroundings. When I got into the auditorium I noticed some people huddled around a television. I joined and got my first glimpse as to what was happening. I went to the payphones and called Jeff on his cell phone. He answered and had no idea of anything happening. He was down in a bunker or something underground. I told him to go to a television. Just to hear his voice and know he was safe was calming. I then called my mom back in Ohio. I was worried about anyone from the company that may have been traveling. I found that my brother and dad were not on any airplanes.

Soon they started orientation. We were all sitting in our seats when the teachers came in. The woman started in a very shaky voice and recapped to us what was going on. She then said that we were in lock down. Lock Down. I just was so scared. Again I am here in a foreign state ALONE I knowing no one. I have no family, boyfriend, and friends. She explained what lockdown would mean for us. We were going on with Orientation. She asked if anyone had any questions and one brave man raised his hand and asked the question we were all thinking. “Why are you keeping us here in lockdown?” “Why don’t we just go home?” Her explanation was that everything thus far had happened on the east coast. And if something were to happen on the west coast mainly Seattle we would be the first to help out. I am all for helping out, but we also have no idea where anything is as far as IV’s, meds, gauze, linens, and other supplies. I guess these are the things that we would have learned really fast. Thankfully it never came to the point where we would be needed had an emergency occurred.

After orientation ended for the day I was completely drained emotionally. When I got home that night I was in front of the television just trying to process all of the events of the day. Seeing people walking around with photos of their loved ones was heart wrenching and something I will never forget.

It has almost been seven years now since this tragic day. September 11th 2001 was a turning point in my life. I will never understand how there are people who think that they have the right to take so many lives. I will never understand why people hate innocent Americans to the point of blowing up airplanes. I will never understand why seven years later we are still at war. I will never understand how it must have felt to feel that there was no other option than to jump out of a burning building or to be told to return to an office and you would be safe. My heart aches for the spouses, children, brothers, sisters, co-workers, and friends that were lost that day. At the same time my heart feels joy when I hear of the stories of everyday people being so brave. (Firefighters, police officers, EMT, and innocent airplane travelers)

There was an amazing sense of pride to be an American. It came through with seeing the American flag on every home you passed, on the highway when driving down the road, on magnetic ribbons displayed on cars. I wish that this sense of patriotism was still so deep-rooted today.

I want to thank ALL of the military men and women who have sacrificed their lives and families to defend our country. My brother-in-law just returned after fighting for our freedom. Thank You David! We are so glad that you are home safe and sound.

September 11th ended up changing me in many ways. In my next post I will talk about how I changed and why we moved back to Ohio.

Monday, May 5, 2008

I admit it.. I FAILED!

After unpacking and moving in, I had some things to do now that I was living in a new state. The biggest was to study. I had a job lined up at Harborview Medical Center starting in September. First I had to pass the NCLEX. I spent the majority of my time studying for the biggest test of my life. The test is required to get my nursing license.

Although I did pass the NCLEX exam on the first and only attempt I should have studied a bit harder for my driver’s license test. In Washington a computer test is given to get a driver’s license. I guess I was expecting to walk in and just get a new license with a new picture and new address. I learned fast that this was not the case. This was rather funny though and we did get a laugh out of the fact that I did not get my driver’s license on the first attempt. I did get the license on the second try! Thank God for that.

The summer went by pretty fast. Jeff and I took a trip to Chicago in July. We went to a wedding. Jeff was a groomsman. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. No detail went unnoticed. We had a great time.

We also met my parents out in Wyoming. Remember that dude ranch… Well we had an opportunity to stay at the dude ranch. I was really excited to get out to the mountains again. Every day was filled with riding horses. I fell in love with Jeff’s horse. Benny! This was the last hurrah for us before I started my job in September and began my life as a working RN.

Moving Out

I am beginning a new chapter in my life. I am finally a college graduate and now have more independence and am about to really start my life. Beginning a career, moving to a new state across the country, and deepening my relationship with Jeff.

We left the buckeye state in the morning hours on June 18th. We said a last goodbye to my parents and then Jeff, Mariah, Morgan, and I got into the Cherokee to being our long road trip with the u-haul hitched to the back of the jeep.

We were heading west towards Chicago. I remember that we did not plan this part of the trip very well. We got stuck in downtown Chicago traffic. We finally got on the road again going faster than 5 miles and bumper to bumper traffic as we were heading towards Madison, Wisconsin. Jeff and I did not have a time limit for the trip and were not really in a rush to drive as fast as we could to Washington. We did however want to spend some time at Yellowstone and see Mount Rushmore. So we did travel faster through some of the Midwest states. As we got farther into the night we were in Minnesota when some excitement on our trip occurred. It was the middle of summer and we had beautiful weather on our trip thus far. When we were in Minnesota it did start to rain pretty heavily and Jeff noticed that there was a fast drop in the temperature. Soon the thunder, lightning, and wind started. It was a bit scary not knowing where you were, not having a GPS to tell you where a hotel might be, and dragging a u-haul behind you. We found a local am radio station and were listening to interruptions in the broadcast from the emergency broadcast systems warning of us of tornados. Again not knowing where we were in relation to the cities they were talking about that the funnel clouds had been located was a bit nerve wracking. We did however find a truck stop and pulled over for the night. After traveling all day I was not excited about getting a few hours of sleep in the back of a Jeep with two dogs and no room to really sleep. I was worried about catching a few zzzzz’s in the service plaza and stayed up for the most part just to make sure no one was looking in through the windows. I was in the driver’s seat before Jeff woke up and decided to let him sleep while I took off down the road.

Day two started with us waking up in Minnesota and driving all the way to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I had Jeff promise me that tonight we would find a hotel and get a good night sleep. I never realized how tired you get when you drive! We were exhausted. When we got to our stopping area it was in the late afternoon. We got dinner and we were in bed and fast asleep by 8:00pm.

Day three started at Mount Rushmore. I had never been there before. It was neat to see. We spent about an hour there before getting back into the Jeep and taking off. We traveled from South Dakota to Cody, Wyoming. My aunt had given me a list of hotels that accept pets. So as we were finding our various stopping places I would call and make reservations for the night. When we decided that Cody would be our stopping point we soon found that our plan was not meant to be. There was a rodeo in Cody. All of the hotels had no vacancy for the night. We were a bit discouraged so we had no choice but to head on. We did not want to continue to late into the night, because of traveling through the mountains. We did end up finding a place called the Goff Creek Lodge. This Lodge is stunning!!! The hospitality was amazing and we were a total surprise to them when we called and needed a room for the night. We were sad that we did not have time to just hang out and experience all that nature has to give at this Lodge. Morgan got a nice surprise when we did wake up. There was a little puppy outside our door that she played with before it was time to head out.

Day 4 started around Cody and we went to Yellowstone. I LOVED it. The mountains, the wildlife, the scenery, the views, the feeling of being in a place that is so perfect is amazing. I also saw old faithful, bison, elk, the Tetons. It was something that I will never forget. We spent most of the day at Yellowstone and ended up in Jackson Hole, Wyoming for the night. My parents go to Jackson Hole every summer to spend time on a dude ranch. I finally got why they go when I was out there. Never having had experienced the beauty of the mountains and nature like that before I was always wondering what the big deal was about the dude ranch and this place that they would travel to. Now I got it!

Jackson is a lovely city and we had fun in the shops before getting back into the car. Jeff and I got determined now that it was Seattle or bust. We got in the car and drove, and drove, and drove, and drove. We got into Seattle sometime around 2 am. I have never been so slap happy, tired, exhausted and unable to keep my eyes open before. Jeff and I were singing to each other and talking about the stupidest things to keep each other up the last hour of the trip. When we got to the apartment we went diving into the bed.

The next day once the sun was up I was up. This is not a common occurrence for me. I felt the need to get the u-haul unpacked. Morgan and Mariah did super the whole trip. Jeff and I grew closer just being in a car that long together and not having anything else to do, but talk to each other about anything and everything.

Things I will never forget about the trip:
Gary, Indiana
Listening to Billy Joel (I’m moving out) over and over
Eating pizza hut pizza outside of the jeep as we looked at the mountains
The amazing beautiful breathtaking scenery
The almost tornado
Almost running out of gas
Jeff and Morgan bonding (Morgan a lab jumping in the front seat to sit on Jeff’s lap every chance she got!)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A new puppy

Morgan (2001)
Sometimes I do things spontaneously. After a conversation with Jeff who is a runner he was talking about having a dog. A big dog and one that he could take on runs with him. I am a VERY big dog lover. After my grandpa passed away (he also was the biggest dog lover I had known) I decided to buy another dog. Jeff was in Seattle and I went on my own to a place that has all sorts of fun pet merchandise as well as some puppies. In the cage was a black lab. I asked to see her. She was so fun and full of life. It was love at first sight. When I put her down to let her run she reminded me of Simba from The Lion King. She was adorable and so full of personality and life. I named this little puppy Morgan and she came home with me.

I talked to Jeff on the phone about what I had purchased for him and us as a new companion of him when he would run. He was NOT thrilled to say the least. He even asked me to return her. That was not an option because I was already in love. Jeff and I never have been a couple that would get in arguments or fight, but he was not really happy with me. His concern was our drive to Seattle with a puppy and the fact that she would be a big dog in an apartment.

In the end Morgan stayed. I will never forget the first time Jeff and Morgan met. She took instantly to him. He was a little hard on her at first trying to get her to sit and learn his commands. He ended up falling for her and they became instant pals.

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