In No Particular Order
Childbirth 101

Okay, so this isn't a tutorial, actually, but it's a story of a miracle I witnessed two weeks ago that will remain etched in my mind for my whole life.

Krista is one of those people you meet and you just know you're going to be friends with for a long time. Her husband is within my circle of friends and when she finally reached 21 and was discharged from the military she joined in our group and became my forever friend. I've only known her for nine months, and she's always been pregnant in my mind.

I called her one day to accompany me on a little shopping spree, knowing she wasn't working and probably didn't have a lot to do. We talked, non-stop, that first day, and we haven't stopped since. We became inseparable, I even get on well with her husband and they both have commented that I am like the extra person needed in their family. It feels good. Krista intially asked me to be in the room when she delivered because most of her family declined, acting uninterested. I jumped at the chance. I know I'll get to see a live birth while I'm in school, during clinicals, but there's something very intriguing about seeing someone you love give birth to a baby that you already adore.

We spent her pregancy preparing the room, shopping, shopping and more shopping. She says I'm all-knowing when it comes to babies and we tried to make sure we didn't forget anything. She asked me questions, constantly about her body and how she felt and she told me everything she felt. We would sit and watch a movie with my hand on her belly, waiting for a kick or a high-five from rambunctious little girl.

I organized the best baby shower ever for her, with more than fifty guests, a huge buffet of food and two tables piled high with gifts, wrapped in sweet baby girl colors of lavendar, pink and yellow. She became overwhelmed that night, as I helped her put away her new things and huge tears formed in her eyes as she told me that she was so scared. She felt bad for being so scared when I was so excited and happy about the upcoming event. I hope I eased her mind when I told her that if it were my belly that was swelling and my womb holding a small creature, I would be frightened too.

The next few weeks flew by in a blur. She grew larger and larger, her belly looking like it may pop if you poked it. Her feet and hands began to look like that of a dwarf and she became really tired, and really busy. I've never seen a woman clean and rearrange rooms in such a way before. She was a flurry of emotions, but the greatest one being anxiety. She could not wait to "get her out".

Thursday, May 13th, 7 days before the due date, I got a phone call at 11am, after only 3 hours of sleep. It was Matt, her husband, telling me that I better get to the hospital because the baby was coming that afternoon. When I asked him if she needed me to bring anything he relayed the message and I heard,

"just her"

and I melted. I rushed out the door, forgetting everything important, like my camera and money, but I made it shortly after the epidural. Around 2pm, the nurse came in to check her and we all stood outside. Matt came out and looked at me, "you ready?", he asked me. My heart pounded, it was really time! Her family retreated to the waiting room and I went in, armed with their video camera and all the support and love I could find within me. I held her hand, and I held her knees while she pushed and pushed. Her eyes turned bright red and she looked so exhausted, but she never uttered a word of complaint. The nurse left the room and told us to assist her whenever she wanted to push, and we obliged. Upon her return, the nurse became a bit nervous and called the doctor to come down, quickly. Evidently, she'd pushed more than the nurse had imagined and baby was making her way out.

A few minutes of excitment brought tons more medical people in, extra nurses, respiratory therapy, technicians and the doctor. He rushed them and told us it wouldn't be long. He wasn't joking. In mere seconds after he gloved up he was holding her, Halie Faithe, a beautiful, yet slimy, little being, with tons of black hair. Krista barely got to touch her as they carted her away to help her adjust to her new world. They weighed her, 8 pounds and 4 ounces, measured her, 21 and 1/2 inchles long and they let me watch and video all of it, it was amazing. When she belted out her first cry my own tears started flowing, it was one of the most overwhelming experiences of my life.

I continued to video while they took the crying baby to her mother. As soon as she was in mommy's arms the crying stopped. Krista was overcome with emotion as she nuzzled the sweet little girl close to her body. I've never seen anything more beautiful.

I now have the deepest respect for my friend. She gave birth like an old pro, let me witness it and included me every step of the way. She even chose an outfit I bought for her to bring her home from the hospital. I couldn't ask for a better friend or a greater experience, except for my own, one day.

I'm also Halie's godmommy.

It's nice and fresh... Cheddar-X!

Cheddar is political this week, which brings a nice change. It's also on time!

1. If you had a choice of dinner with George W. Bush or John Kerry, which would it be, why and what would you serve?
I would invite John Kerry and I would probably serve something mexican, with some nice homemade peach sangria.

2. What are your three major criteria for choosing who to vote for?
Anybody but Bush, ability to form a sentence, ability to admit fault.

3. Do you plan to vote "for" someone or "against" someone?
I honestly plan to vote against Bush. If Kucinich or Dean were actual choices, I'd vote that way, "for" one of them. I don't oppose Kerry, and I feel confident about placing my vote that way, but there's something about him that leaves me feeling a tad strange.

4. What bothers you most about this presidential election?
The fact that people plan on voting for Bush solely because he is a "republican" and they've never voted out of their party before. Puhlease.

5. How much does a candidate's religious affiliation have to do with your decision to vote for him?

6. When do you think the first female president will be elected?
Sometime within the next 12 years.

7. Who, among prominent politicians, would you most like to see in the White House?
Ahnold. Seriously, probably Guiliani.

8. Who, among all people, would you like to see in the White House? Dan Abrams

Sound good? Maybe you should go get your own Cheddar-x.

Understanding me.

I've realized why I'm so smitten with Gregory. Don't get me wrong, he's a great guy, the best. Perfect gentlemen, nice skull (sorry Layne), buff body, intelligent, funny, the whole bit. I've struggled with myself to determine exactly what it is about him that intrigues me so. What is it that leaves me willing the phone to ring and wishing for new emails in my inbox? Why do I long so badly to see him once more before he moves acros the country? Countless hours I've spent racking my busy brain for answers.

The research has paid off.

It is nostalgia. Yes, that's correct. He brings back to me a time in my life where life was as easy as it ever has been, when nothing mattered except not getting caught skipping class or running out of gas in your first junker of a car. The smell of him reminds me of riding shotgun in the car during midnight journeys across the state to visit friends in the middle of the night, just because there was nothing else to do. His laugh brings back all of the stupid inside jokes that no one knew except us, the stares that made us feel as insane as we thought we were. His strong, soft hands still feel the same as they did when he used to walk me to class, holding my hand, my books under his other arm, his face crimson, unknowing whether could sneak a kiss. And his voice, unmistakable over the phone in the wee hours of the morning, wondering if he could take me to school.

I want that life back. I want the simplicity back, I want that heart back. That heart was warm, open and unscarred. I loved without fear, I gave without wanting, I needed without feeling dependent. That's what I want again. I want to open myself up to someone and give all I have, expecting nothing besides all of them in return. It is that life, that heart, that me, that I long for. Being with him doesn't fix any of these things, you know? I have to grow back to that place, I have to fix me, by myself.

The other reason I long for him is because in my mind, I think I need to fix what I wronged. All of those years ago, it was me who turned him away. I chose comfort over compassion, heartache over love. I still wonder how he ever remained my friend after that. So, now, I have no choice, but to remain his, regardless of whether he never comes home or finds the love of his life and her name isn't Heather. I want happiness for him as much as I want it for myself. I'll bite my tongue and I'll feign happiness for him until it feels real because my heart says I should.

So, now, the pushing stops. I'll see him in August and maybe this weekend, if he decides to; and I'll see him as an old friend, an old flame, even, but no longer will I let him see the hurt in my eyes. I won't tell him how much I don't want him to go. I'll say that I'm happy and excited for him and I hope he loves it there.

Even though I will hate it if he does.

Very Late Cheddar-X

Life has suddenly become crazy for me. I don't want to do the things I used to do, I'm busy doing nothing, all.the.time. Oh well, better late than never, right?

1. What's your favorite board game?
Chess or Trivial Pursuit

2. If you had to sing a song on national TV (ala the bleh-worthy American Idol), what song would you sing?
Something by Blondie, probably "One Way Or Another"

3. If you had to sing a duet, what song would you sing and with who?
Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" with Jake (aka Exblogger).

4. If your life was made into a movie, what would the title be?
"Stupid Girl"

5. If your life was made into a porn movie, what would the title be?
"Slutty Girl" ?

6. Who would you want to play you in the movie of your life?
Meg Ryan. We have the same hair and she's pretty hot - I'd like to be that hot.

7. In the porn?
Do I even need to answer? Jenna!

8. What are some of the top bumper stickers you've seen or thought of?

Clinton: Blow Jobs
Bush: No Jobs

Want some Cheddar of your very own? Go get some!

Maybe Baby Day Cheddar!

I haven't posted much or anything about my best friend, Krista who is currently 8 days from being due to deliver a baby girl, Halie Faithe. She has the most unsupportive and immature husband on the face of the earth, so I've tried to be her rock through it all. Krista has asked me to be in the room during delivery and to video the birth - exciting! So, I'm spending my day being prepared since she is having some contractions.

However, there's always time for some Cheddar-X!

1. How many computer passwords do you currently have?
This is really bad, but I think I only have two. I'm horrid at remembering them so I always use the same ones.

2. When was the last time you nearly went insane because you'd forgotten which one you were using?
About 2 years ago before I switched them all.

3. What's your favorite board game?
Good question, I'm a board game nut. My current favorite team board game is Cranium. If you haven't played it, it's a mix of trivial pursuit, pictionary and charades with some other stuff thrown into the mix. Good stuff. I still love to play scrabble with my gramma and monopoly will always be a favorite of mine.

4. How long have you been at your current job?
Nearly 2 years. I plan to be here for two more, but things are getting interesting around there. I'll be done with school in two years and even though I'll be an RN, I do not wish to stay at this hospital - not at all.

5. How much "push" would it take to get you to walk?
As much as I complain and turmoil, probably a whole lot. There is a lot wrong with my life, but I like it pretty well anyway.

6. What's the best t-shirt slogan or comment that you've come across?
# "Real Men Don't Waste Their Hormones Growing Hair" on a bald man and "Let's Get One Thing Straight - I'm Not!" on a gay man.

Well, that wraps up the cheddar and I'm off to wait around for that very exciting phone call. Pictures of the event are hereby promised.

But I May Not Have All Of You

Please allow me to be a drama queen today and do not judge me for over-reacting to situations that may not seem important to you, thanks!

Why does every thing I want never work? I meet and have relationships with males who I don't and won't ever really care about and the ones I think I might be able to love someday always seem to fall between the cracks.

Things were great, I thought, until about 1 hour ago when I received an email from the goofball who will from this point be referred to as Greg, since that's his name and all. The applicable portion is shown, for your viewing pleasure.

I will have to say that it was really good seeing you this weekend. You did suprise me when you kissed me that night- I didn't want to leave either, it was awesome to FINALLY kiss you after so long. I'm so in the frame of mind to head out of here to LA that the thought of even meeting someone before I leave was completely absent in my mind- then an opportunity with you has come along. Would you really want to consider trying things although I'm leaving? I will see you in August for Melissa's wedding, but otherwise I won't be home for atleast 3 months... if not more. I think since things happen for a reason, maybe it's best to wait until I'm closer to home. I'll be in LA and you'll be in Mt. Carmel. That's a pretty fair distance. I don't think we should ever throw the thought of us away, I just think that while I'm in LA and you're working on school, it would be less stressful and heart wrenching being so far away. If things are meant to be, they'll be. You know? We bumped into eachother again for some reason. Maybe it was for us to both see that there is still something there after so long, and that it's possible we'll still have it when I get back. You think?

I don't know why I ever thought there might be a chance... maybe because he led me in to thinking so. I'm not giving up easily, not this time, but I can't force him and I won't even try. Here's the applicable portion of my reply:

As for us, I'm kind of at a loss about what to say. I'm very attracted to you and I was almost immediately when I saw you, actually, even when I had just talked to you, which really surprised me. I figured seeing you would be nothing more than meeting up with an old friend, but something else happened and I'm still shocked.

My thoughts about the situation (which I actually wanted to discuss in person) were that I'd do whatever you wanted. If you wanted to try the distance thing, I'm willing and I know I can do it. If not, what can I say? I've done it before and it wasn't that bad, hard, indeed, but not impossible. I guess I'm just worried that letting you go now will be the same as letting you go way back when, which I still consider to be a huge mistake. Maybe back then we would have been too immature to even make anything of it, but I regret not trying. I don't want to let go of the possiblity of us, either, but it's going to be pretty hard for me to move on with anything else if I consider the possiblity that there might be a real "us" at some point. Like I said, I've passed you up before and I don't want to again. So, I leave it in your hands and I will gladly accept whatever you want. I don't want you to do anything that doesn't make YOU happy, it seems you've done that enough in your life. We both have, I guess.

What is going on? Why does the timing suck so badly? I wish I would have never even emailed him because then I wouldn't feel like I was losing something that I never had, like I do now. I've shared the email with some of close friends and they seem to get the impression that he is asking me to wait for him, without actually asking. My own frame of mind since I've started working towards my nursing degree is that serious relationships are out until I'm finished, so chances are, I probably wouldn't meet someone else anyway - but I thought that before Greg came along too. I'm not really sure how to feel or what to say. I'm not upset, just a tad disappointed, which is expected, I think.

On the upside, at least I haven't told Erin my feelings about him yet or done anything drastic in that situation. Sounds cold, I know, but that is just how our relationship is. It's convenient, it's mutual friendship and company and it's easy. It was never meant to be loving, serious or forever. Sometimes I wonder why I'm even in it. I'm loving my life right now.


You Still Have All Of Me

I had one of those weekends that you hope and dream for when you are 24 and practically single. I'm giving you the long version because, well, I can.

When I was in high school I had one of the best boy friends in the world. Not a boyfriend, but a boy friend. He lived down the street from me and he was so cool in that geeky way that made you want to tackle him because he was so goofy. We hung out all the time, we talked all the time, we were buds, good buds. One day, though, something happened. Friendship turned into a crush. I can't remember who started it or even what happened, but it was there, just suddenly. I was torn between my boyfriend of two years who liked to mentally abuse me and had me convinced I would never be good enough for anyone else and this goofball of a friend who seemed to know my soul better than his own. He courted me just like a girl wants to be courted. He carried my books to class, he wrote me love letters, he took me to school in his baby blue t-bird and he just loved me for me. I was a bit stupider than I am now, though, and I chose not to let go of something that I had invested so much of my life (ha!) in. I chose the jerk. He knew my decision but kept on with all of the beau actions and I let him. Then one day psycho boy was making a sweep of my room and found those romantic letters tucked between my mattresses (see, he was that crazy, he checked between the mattresses!). Everything ended after he threatened goofball's life. We stopped talking, we stopped everything. There were longing glances in the hallway and phone calls with silence at the end, but he never pressed on.

Then, psycho moved away for college, but he was still my boyfriend, now of 3 years. Goofball and I got close again, but we never crossed the boundary that had destroyed us before. Midnight rides to St. Louis (which is 3 hours away), sneaking into the window of our friends dorm room, late night study sessions, you name it, we were back and we loved it.

Next, he moved away to continue college shortly after I was involved with psycho #2. That was 1998. All of these years I've wondered about him and never pursued finding him. Until last week when I ran across his email address while switching my contacts to gmail. So, what the hell, right? I sent him an email thinking the account would be closed long ago. Because as we all know, especially Helen, hotmail is spam central. But, it wasn't closed! His reply was quick one with a very excited tone.

In short: "Come to St. Louis, I'm moving to LA in a month or so, we should hang out." We corresponded a few times and I invited him to the wedding I'm in at Newport Beach in July and he accepted since he's only 40 minutes away. Exciting stuff. Then, he wrote on Thursday saying that he'd be home on Friday since it was Mother's Day. We must meet up, he told me - and we did.

I laid eyes on him and everything came rushing back. I think you could actually see the sparks when I walked in and our eyes met. We had a hell of a night with two other friends from high school. He took me home and walked me to the door and when we he started to walk away, I kissed him. He kissed me long and hard for ages. "I've wanted to do this for eight years", he'd told me. I melted. I'm still melting. Saturday night was a replay and I saw him momentarily on Sunday. I'll be going to visit in about 20 days for the weekend and I simply cannot wait. I'll burst by then.

The possibilities and the anticipation are overwhelming. I think I might actually be able to love this one, if I don't talk myself out of it. I'm setting my self up for a big heartache, but I can handle it, the risk is worth it. The only downside right now is the fact that he is indeed moving to LA for at least three months, he's leaving at the first of July. I can do the distance thing, if he's willing.

If one more person says, "If it's meant to be, it will", I'll puke.

Cheddar, The Quicker Picker Upper

1. Desert island scenario: 3 belongings -
blanket; large knife; fishing spear - I'm boring and I watch way to much survivor!

2. If you didn't have the name you have, what name would you like to have?
Great question! I would have liked to be named Kendall, I think. Or Nichole, which is my middle name.

3. What's the craziest thing you ever did while drunk and/or high?
Took off my clothes and swam in the river in the middle of the night in a very dangerous spot.

4. What movie is your favorite "guilty pleasure"? (You could watch it over and over but are embarrassed to admit it).
Sweet Home Alabama - boy, cheddar really brings out the dork in a person.

5. When was the last time you ate more than you should have because the food was so good? What were you eating?
A long time ago. I used to have a problem with emotional eating so now I'm overly cautious about eating very much because I don't want to fall back into that because it's so unhealthy. Anyway, it was probably ice cream.

6. How many rechargable items do you have?
Cell phone, dust buster, can opener, cordless phones, electric razor. 5 that I can think of quickly.

7. Will the rising costs of gas affect your driving habits? Or, is the cost of gas rising out of control where you live?
Yes, it is, probably not quite as high as some places yet, but we were up to $1.88 this week. The cost of gas is affecting how much I just drive around with no destination. I really enjoy doing this, but I'm trying to be a bit frugal because, well, I'm poor!

This week's Cheddar-X brought some interesting questions!

I owe you an update about the status of my parents divorce (see below). In short, we are doing a lot of home shopping and consoling each other... i hate all of it. I'll try to get to that this weekend sometime.

Hope you are all well and have great weekends!

Wishing I had nothing to say...

I'm typically at a loss for blog content when I actually have time to blog. I know I should keep a notebook or something handy to jot down ideas when they pop into my head, but I have yet to do that. So, you see, my blog is filled with a lot of Cheddar (but we all love the Cheddar) and random things that I think are important. Sometimes I wish I had more to say. Today, I do, but I wish I didn't.

My parents are getting divorced. Mom already talked to a lawyer, it is all in the works. My chest weighs two-thousand pounds and it is hard to breathe. The tears well up and I fight them away because I'm a "big girl" now, I should be able to handle this. He's not even my biological father, you know? He's still my dad, though. And he's an asshole. The stuff is private and I'm not going to go into right now, maybe some other time, but it all boils down to the fact that he chooses something else over his marriage and his family. He chooses something that is bad for all of us and he will not stop doing it. Even now, when she told him, as much as he loves her, he's letting her go because he knows he won't ever stop and it makes her life miserable. He's had every kind of help imaginable but nothing works because he doesn't want to stop.

I don't know what my brothers are going to think or do. Mom thinks they will be fine, I think they are going to be crushed. We live next door to their grandparents who are aging quickly. My brothers take good care of them and they spend a lot of time with them. We aren't leaving town, but it won't be the same for any of them- ever.

I know we will all be okay, but it still hurts. Material as it may sound, my biggest hurt right now is our house, my home. I always thought that no matter how old I was or how far away I moved I would always come home to our house. I've lived there for 16 years, I grew up there, the place is filled with my memories and I don't want to leave them. I know every creak in the floor and every hole in the wall or stain on the floor of my bedroom means something to me. How many times have I ran up those stairs to my own retreat, to get away from it all? Will I ever know a house so well that I know to stay on the left side of the stairs until you are 6 up and then switch to the right to make the minimal amount of noise... don't forget to skip the stair that's second to the top because it creaks very loudly. I used to climb out of my bedroom window and sit on the roof when I was 13 because I hated everyone and I thought maybe if I jumped I wouldn't have to hate them anymore. The backyard has been a home to so many of my critters, my swing-set and a lot of wasps that never failed to torment me in the summer.

We are leaving soon. I can barely pull into the driveway without becoming nauseated. I can't think about it or I cry. I'm old now, I'm supposed to understand. But, I don't.

I'll pretend to be the rock, I'll pretend to be strong for everyone. I'll give hugs and I'll listen and comfort. I'll take care of everyone and it will all be fine, as long as they don't catch me crying in the darkness of a house that will never be my home again.

On The Bookshelf

Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

East Of Eden by John Steinbeck

On The Tube

Nothing this season, check back later!


Echo, Incubus

Possession, Sarah Mclachlan

Fell In Love With A Boy, Joss Stone

October, Jessica Weiser

So Far Away, StainD

The Sickness, Disturbed

Going Under, Evanescence

Mexico, Incubus

The Reason, Hoobastank

100 minus 90 things:

confused 20-something

nursing student

pediatric ICU nurse wannabe

respiratory therapy tech

pop-music hater

i forgot how to love boys

i want to marry a guitar player

should have been a podiatrist

i am horrible at money management

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