Happy Birthday to My Knox!

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

 

I got this cupcake months ago and I’ve been saving it for this day.

Cupcake

And today, I gave it to one excited Knox…

Knox and his cupcake1

And he enjoyed it very, very much…

Knox and his cupcake

Happiest of birthdays to my sweet, SWEET precious Knox.

Throwin’ it Back

Monday, October 14th, 2013

I’ve decided that on the days that I work, “throwback” photos will be quite common. You see, during the fall and winter, I get to work before the sun rises and leave work after the sun sets. I’m gone from home for at least 13 hours in a locked unit with no windows where photos are prohibited. See the dilemma here?

Looking back in my phone, this time last year, this is what Knox was up to.

Knox with the cheese

In order to get Beau to take meds, they have to be smothered in cheese. And Knox decided to steal the can of cheese. How he got access to it, I’m not quite certain. But alas, he did and as usual, he and his articulate paws did all that was possible to get as much cheese out of the can as he could. And, because I can’t resist …here are more photos of my extremely food motivated fuzzy. He likes to make sure empty containers are COMPLETELY clean before they are recycled.

Knox eating ricotta

Knox licking the bowl

Knox licking the spatula

What’s more fun than licking the spatula after baking a cake?

It’s a Wrap

Sunday, October 13th, 2013

Lasagna and chocolate tres leches at my favorite place on earth (my parent’s house) wrapped up my fabulous birthday weekend.

Back to the grind tomorrow. Needless to say, I am NOT looking forward to it.

Birthday roses

My gorgeous birthday roses are sitting on my nightstand. Did brought them to me, along with a balloon, prior to our lunch date on my birthday. I’m so blessed for all the love that surrounds me!

The Goodness Continues

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Ma and I spent the day at The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn and Club as a continuation of my birthday celebrations. This was my first visit here and I already cannot wait to go back.

After our massages, we sat by the pool in the absolutely GORGEOUS weather, enjoyed our daiquiris and munched on our flat breads for lunch. Yes, it was as lovely as it sounds.

PVC

I’m quite grateful for my stress-free time on a beautiful day! Thanks for the loveliness, Ma!

This is the Start of Something Good

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Today, I turned 29 years old. I can now easily say, “Twenty years ago, I …” and remember that day like it was a lot less than twenty years ago.

I decided a few weeks back that I wanted to do a Photo A Day series for my 29th year. More often than not, my photos will come from my cell and as usual, I pardon the lack of quality.

IMAG4415[1]

Today I did exactly what I should have done – relaxed. I spent the day not worrying about much of anything, snuggling my sweet fuzzy puppies. The perfect birthday, if you ask me! Beau was quite the fan of our laid back day.

Thank you to my sweet, sweet friends for a lovely birthday dinner. As usual, lots of laughs were had. I love each of you, dearly.

Life Happens

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Tomorrow would have marked the day that I was planning on opening my shop, but .. life has happened.

In the next few months, I will go out of town to visit a friend, throw a very DIY-Rachely baby shower for the best, help throw a bridal shower, help shoot a wedding with the best, go out of town for a bachelorette party, be a bridesmaid in a great friend’s wedding and throw a retirement party. That’s all from July until September. Let’s not talk about October (my birth month) and the rest of the year. I’m certain I’m forgetting something, as well.

With that being said, I’ve decided to commit myself to those lovely events in my life and put my shop on hold. With THAT being said, I am still taking custom orders.

Unfortunately, I have not taken any photos of my creations with my DSLR. Instead, I’ve always used what is close by my side .. my cell.

Therefore, all of the unfortunate photos you are about to see are very, very poor quality. The color is quite distorted in many of them (I tend to finish projects at night when there is NO natural light to assist me!) and many are quite grainy. Nonetheless, I have been asked several times about what exactly I can make. We’ll start here:

 

Rachel Blanket1

Rachel Baby Blanket

Blankets are generally the perfect size for a car seat blanket. Although, I can make them bigger.

Rachel Noah Gift

I can also make a matching or coordinating set of a blanket/burp cloth. (The way this color turned out in this photo makes me squeamish!)

Rachel Burp Cloths

Burp cloths

I can make coordinating burp cloths.

Girl onesie

Boy onesie

Rachel Laurel Onesie

Rachel Isaac Gift

I can make onesies.

Rachel Laurel Gift

Rachel Brady Gift

Rachel Ellie Gift

Blanket and paci clips

Or, I can make sets of whatever combination you choose. Note: I did not make the giraffes. I’m definitely not that skilled! They were part of the gifts that I gave.

Pacifier holders

Paci clips can either have a snap closure or a loop closure in order to fit different types of pacis.

Please email me, message me via Facebook or speak with me in person. If you have a color scheme you’d prefer, I can provide you with examples of what I can make for you and you can decide what you’d like.

Again, sorry for the horrific quality of photos. Happy Wednesday!

Working With NICU Nurses

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

By Sue Ludwig

Neonatal nurses are a difficult group to describe. I have a bird’s eye view of them, working with them yet not being one of them.

I entered their world cautiously, knowing they would eat me for lunch if I so much as looked the wrong way. Forget that I had any knowledge or even a personality. I knew that first I must just exist in their world and do no harm for a very long time, and if that plan worked out, maybe I could start treating some patients. I respected their protectiveness. I couldn’t think of any group of patients in greater need of protection.

And slowly, they allowed me to be.

If you’ve never seen a NICU nurse work it’s quite amazing. They can bundle a baby as tight as any burrito in three seconds flat, especially if showing a new resident how to properly perform this task. Seemingly regardless of their age and/or eyesight they can start an I.V. in a vein that’s no wider than a thread or fishing line while blocking out all surrounding distractions.

And don’t kid yourself if you’re a friend of one of these nurses and you visit her with your new baby. You may think she’s just admiring his adorable face when really she’s trying to control her excitement about how good his scalp veins look in case he ever needs an I.V. in his noggin.

I’m telling you, they’re just not right.

They are meticulous about the state of the baby’s bedside and the baby himself, and are so anal that they typically revamp the entire area when they come on shift because the nurse before them wasn’t quite anal enough. This is all in the best interest of the baby of course, and for that nurse’s state of mind for the rest of the shift.

They have the ability to discern when a little 1-pound person just doesn’t seem like herself from a mile away. They will do everything in their power to convince the docs of this and will likely not let them leave for the day unless they get what they want for that baby.

NICU nurses have known forever that these babies feel pain, even though it was difficult to ‘prove’. They think about the babies on their days off, come in from home if they are dying. They provide a baby with lots of love one minute and run to code another one the next.

They are experts at what they do.

Now that I’ve been working with them for well over a decade and they trust me not to do anything too stupid, I must say I understand them. This little world in the NICU is unique. It is at once a place of celebrating new life and the grasping for it. It has been noted to be a place of intense parental love or at times abandonment; parents sometimes lost in their own set of horrible circumstances. It is mostly happy. It is mostly positive. It can be devastating.

We tuck years of that pain into a place we pretend doesn’t exist in health care. We go home and kiss our children.

I can’t say enough about the dedication of this group of people. They make me laugh hysterically with the sarcasm and humor that comes with the territory. They stun me with the level of skill they take for granted and the patience with which they teach the unending line of new doctors, new nurses, and people like me.

It is an immense responsibility to dedicate your work to a place that never closes, which needs you for its smooth and competent running, where fragile babies living and dying can just be part of your day’s work. All of that for a six figure salary…………

Thank you to the NICU nurses, for your expertise, your example, and your friendship. May there be a place in heaven for you with a coffee pot, good Chinese food, and the perfect schedule!

Any-Way-You-Want-It Quiche

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

Ever get sick of the same ol’, same ol’? The good thing about quiche is that you can always put whatever the heck you want in the mix! Plus, even more bonus, it’s super easy to make.

Quiche2

Any-Way-You-Want-It Quiche

Ingredients

  • 1  9-inch refrigerated pie crust, fitted to a 9-inch glass pie pan
  • 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (Swiss, cheddar, feta, goat)
  • 2 cups of fresh vegetable of choice (spinach, broccoli)
  • 2 cups of meat of choice (bacon, ham)
  • Salt, pepper and preferred spices, to taste
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Quiche

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Combine the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and spices in a food processor or blender. Blend just until ingredients are mixed.
  • Layer your vegetables, meat and cheese in the bottom of the pie crust. Shred your cheese from a block of cheese. Not a necessity, but definitely something I highly recommend. I stay away from pre-packaged shredded cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture on top.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes until the egg mixture is set. My oven requires I bake mine for about 50 minutes. All ovens vary (as we all know), so I figured I would give you the time the original recipe calls for. Check for a jiggle in the middle of your quiche when you take it out. If there is a jiggle, give it some extra time!
  • Cut into slices and serve!

Quiche1

How easy is THAT?! My favorite combination is broccoli and cheddar. I’ve also tried Swiss and spinach. I am yet to combine meat into the process, but I’d imagine it would be quite tasty.

Feel free to share with me any combinations you come up with or any that you typically make. I would love to hear them!

Quiche3

Credit, where credit is due…

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” – Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I’ve been asked, time and time again, “When did you decide you wanted to be a NICU nurse and why?” The truth is, I have absolutely no idea. What I do know and what I grew up knowing, is that one day I would be a NICU nurse and nothing could stand in my way.

My love for babies literally started from day one.

Me in the culdesac with stroller

Me kissing baby in stroller

It’s hard to believe, but yesterday marked five years for me at Wolfson Children’s Hospital as a NICU nurse.

Me at work

If only this was what we REALLY did at work all of the time!

Looking back, I absolutely cannot believe it has been five years since I started working at Wolfson. I won’t ever forget my first day of orientation. I remember asking my preceptor how I would ever be able to answer all of the questions that parents threw at me. The truth is, I won’t. That’s the best thing about my job…you just never stop learning.

You can never have any expectations for the day, otherwise you’re certainly going to be disappointed. The pace can go from zero to sixty in no time flat and you never know what is going to come through the door.

I have no idea what it is like to sit at a desk all day, have an hour for lunch or leave work at five. I do know what it is like to be at work before the crack of dawn, go an entire 13 hours without lunch (and possibly the restroom) and never sit down once. Like I always say, I wouldn’t change it for the world. You may think I’m crazy, but I’m living the life of my dreams.

Through it all, the absolute most amazing part of my job is becoming a part of patient’s (and their family’s) lives and watching them grow once they have graduated from their home in the NICU.

Final collage

(Remember, you can always click on a photo to make it larger!)

Those, my friends, are the faces of all of the patients I have taken care of over the past five years that I still keep in touch with.

I look at those faces and remember the one and two pound babies who fought for their lives for several months, experiencing things you and I may never have to endure. I remember the siblings that parents mourned for while their fighter held onto their legacy, beat the odds and went home with their families. I remember the adoptive parents who met their gorgeous daughter for the very first time, accepting her no matter the outcome of her struggles. I remember the parents who were living a nightmare for the second time in their lives. I remember the parents who had no answers, that fought in every way they could in order to find those answers. I remember the baby who had a severely traumatic birth, who had months of recovery and who was a champ through it all. I remember the families who, thanks to a dear friend/family member, were able to have a family of their own…although the journey started rough, it was the start to one that was so very worth it. I remember the families whose strength continues to be tested, but they always overcome those challenges and make the most of what is thrown their way.

Issac

Jaden Myers

Joseph Russo Craig2

I am so very grateful to have met every single one of them and to have had the opportunity to care for them so that they are able to live the life they live today.  I’m grateful to have met their wonderful parents who have expressed so much hope, faith and unconditional love.

Allison and Aidan

Me and Santi

Me and Isaac

Me and Genevieve

Mason Troughton1

We adore all of the updates and visits! Keep ‘em comin’!

I look forward to another five years…and another five years after that. It’s quite an amazing feeling to leave work everyday knowing that what you did that day, no matter how small, may have made all of the difference in the world to that baby and their family…and maybe even saved their life.

(Thank you to ALL of you who gave me permission to use your child’s photos in this post and all of the sweet messages I received. You all are amazing and I’m so glad to know each and every one of you! Keep up the great work!)

Dumpster Divin’

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

In honor of trash night, I thought I’d share one of my good ol’ dumpster dives.

Lamps before

These two lamps were very lonely sitting at the end of my parent’s neighbor’s driveway. They quickly became mine.

A little bit of spray paint and two new lamp shades made these bad boys look as good as new and they fit perfectly on the nightstands in my bedroom. This also solved my problem of not being able to find lamps I liked or wanted to spend the money on. Hmm…reminds me of someone else I know…

Lamp after1

I sometimes want to take a photo of refurbished items I got off of Craigslist or off of someone’s curb and show them what they were missing out on. (That little bird? The Dollar Store and some spray paint…)

Go ahead, grab that chair off of your neighbor’s curb…you know you want to!

Copyright © 2017 Rachel Sevestre. All Rights Reserved.