Wednesday, September 28, 2011

To Whom it May Concern

Dear Sir or Madam,

First, let me say that all things considered my stay at your hospital has been very pleasant.  The nurses and staff are extremely nice and have made my time away from home less difficult than expected.  My room is clean and quite spacious.  And the crushed ice is to die for (we're not going to talk about the food in today's letter).

I do, however, have a few tiny suggestions that would push you from 4 stars to 5.  Don't you want to be the best hospital in Memphis, hands down? 

1.  Make your "guests" think they are at an above average hotel.  4 star, like Westin or W.

Instead of the traditional hospital beige and pastel floral decor, how about a simple gray and taupe solid theme?  I've done the research it would be SO EASY. 

Here is the room as is.  Not bad for a hospital.  Not bad at all. 
Now here is a standard W room.  See the difference?  Just paint and put up some new curtains, and voila!
And, that whole Westin Heavenly Bed/Towels thing goes a long way.  Just put a sign on the bed and tell me its heavenly.  I'll probably fall for it.

Make me think I'm on vacation!  It is all about perception and making people think they are somewhere nicer than they are.  Then, when the financial department calls me, I may be super happy to pay the bill.  Maybe.

2.  Give your guests a daily agenda on a screen in the room and have it update constantly as it changes throughout the day.  Like the screens in an airport - are things on time, delayed, or cancelled?  Is there an ETA?  Your control freak guests will be MUCH happier.  They like to know what they are doing and when.   Trust me. 

For example -  here is what a day *should* look like as best I can tell. 
The problem is, a lot doesn't happen when it should.  Sometimes things are delayed for hours.  Totally  understandable - I'm not the only patient, there are emergencies, etc.  Seems like no big deal but my brain REALLY likes a schedule.  If you had a cool system where all of the data was completely tied together, the screen in my room would update and tell me to expect a delay.  THEN it could look something like this:
I'm dead serious about this.  I think I'm on to something.   

3. Get E! and Bravo channels.  Please.  I need junk TV occasionally.

4. Have a pet visitation day.  Don't you want these two cuties running around?
Sure you would never get rid of the dog hair, but it would be totally worth it.

Just a few small things that would make your guests even happier.

Kind regards,

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Embarrassing Moment at My New Residence

So I have new digs.  I'm now located in the antepartum unit of Baptist Hospital in Memphis until delivery.  Fun.   Obviously I'm sad not to be at home any more, but they want to keep a close eye on all of the babies from here on out. 

It's not that bad.  Nice hospital, big room, and pleasant staff.  Wireless internet and of course I have all my gadgets to keep me entertained.  Plus, it is just a few miles from Jack's office so that is really convenient.  I had all of these grand plans that he would bring me good food all of the time.  And, this unit gets special food privileges of ordering whatever you want at any time from "the grill" -  like sandwiches, pizza, milkshakes, etc.  So I thought the gross hospital food would not be an issue.  Perfect, since food is way up there on the list of important things for me.

Enter the 3 hour glucose test starting at 5 am this morning.  Who the hell created that thing anyway?  Is there not a better way?  Well I fail it miserably.   And all my dreams of good food go straight down the toilet.

How bad can it be, right?  I had ordered a grilled cheese for lunch today when I put in my menu selections yesterday - surely they would still bring it but on wheat bread or something.  After going all morning without a snack and thinking I was going to die of starvation, my lunch finally arrives.  The lady leaves, I open the top off the plate.....and what do I see?
Are you freaking kidding me?  Baked chicken with peas and carrots???  GROSS and UNACCEPTABLE.    So like any mature 32 year old I immediately start crying.  Just for the record I do not cry often - I have cried maybe 3 times this entire pregnancy.  I don't cry over the major stuff, I just take that in and deal with it.  (One time I cried because we ordered supreme pizza instead of cheese and another time because Jack came home snowcone-less because he did not have cash).

So here I am bawling crying and in walks the Chaplain to introduce herself.  She thinks I have just received some kind of devastating news and is trying to coax out of me what is wrong.  I'm sure she is preparing all of her greatest lines for whatever horror I have endured.

So when I can finally speak, I wail out "I don't like peas and carrots.....I wanted a grilled cheese!" - cue the tears to start again.

Then we had a great laugh over it.  She was extremely kind and while I'm sure in her head she was thinking she has a total lunatic on her hands, she didn't show it.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Going on 28 weeks pregnant and 90 years old

The girls are going through a growth spurt right now which is clearly reflected in the size of my stomach.  Here is the latest progression shot.

 I'm so excited to be at the 28 week mark.  Hopefully these babies will stay put for another six weeks or so. We are getting close....crazy to think that we will have 3 kids soon!  While I am well aware that we are having triplets, it hasn't really sunk in and is difficult to imagine what life is going to be like when we get them home.  I know it will be hard at times and chaotic, but we are ready for the adventure and know it will be full of joy also.  I stalk some other triplet blogs sometimes and find their posts about what it is like when they get all the kiddos home.  Then that overwhelms me and I immediately close down the blog.  I also have several books that I could be reading about having babies in general, and some that deal with multiples.  I really should read those.....but for some reason I just like to leave them nicely stacked under the coffee table.  We can wing it, right?   Right???

One thing I know is that I'll need to kick my 90-year-old-acting butt into gear.  I've become keenly aware of how much I have in common with the elderly (no offense to my population of elderly readers out there).  So much so that I've started documenting all the similarities.
  1. I use an over the couch hospital table, where I take all my meals and keep all my valuable belongings.
  2. I drink Ensure (although I'm cutting back) with a flexi-straw. 
  3. The highlight of my week, and the only time I leave my house, is my weekly doctor appointment.  I make sure my hair is washed and everything.  Maybe even put on a little lip gloss and my best Old Navy XL v-neck shirt.
  4. I bum rides from kind friends to and from the doctor's office.
  5. I wheeze.  Not just a little, a lot.  Even when I'm idle I sound like I'm taking my last breath of air ever.
  6. When I do get up to move around I make a noise that indicates I'm lifting a car off the ground rather than just lifting myself off the couch.
  7. I frequently talk about the potential benefits of a bedpan.
  8. I let Jack or my mom know when I get in and out of the bathtub (refer back to #6 for what the sound of me getting out of the tub might sound like, and multiply it by 10). I'm just a few steps away from a Life Alert.
  9. Not only do I watch "Wheel of Fortune" every night, but I am now watching episodes I've already seen.  And I constantly bitch about when the Wheel will start a new season.
  10. I sometimes find myself yelling "I want my juice!!!!"  even when I know we are out (okay maybe this is more like a 3 year old....given that my juice of choice is Berry flavor Juicy Juice).
There are some other things I would include in this list, but it would embarrass Jack.  (For those Byrd family members, just think about our joke "Excuse me Jack".)

Speaking of - while I am writing this, Jack is trying to figure out how to put a new battery in our dead car.  He is watching something on YouTube called "Automotive Advice for Women".  The battery is not fixed yet, but he did find some awesome work glasses to help his effort.
**UPDATE** - Jack successfully fixed the car.  Then he ran around the house singing We Are the Champions.  Then he painted my toenails for me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Camera

Not only did I get my requested humidifier for my birthday (which, by the way, has really helped the sleeping situation), but Jack also surprised me with a new camera!!  He must have taken those subtle hints in previous blog posts about relying on my cell phone for all pictures.  We had a really nice birthday celebration at our house Friday night.  Some of our friends came over and Jack, with the help of his mom, cooked a great meal.  I remained on my usual spot on the couch but it was so nice to have all the company.

Before I get back to the camera - we had a great doctors appointment in Memphis yesterday.  I think the doctor and nurses were really surprised at how well everything looked.  Hopefully we can keep it up.  The girls are all gaining weight and approaching 2 lbs - in fact little Brooks measured just over 2 lbs.   I'm 26 1/2 weeks and counting.  Every week feels like a huge milestone now.

I have a lot to figure out on this camera, but I've been practicing with my current favorite subjects - the dogs.  I thought they deserved a little blog attention anyway, before there are new centers of attention in the house.

Name:  Ginger 
Age:  8 (almost 9) 
Sign:  Sagittarius 
Likes:  People (because she thinks she is one), eating toilet paper, walking (dragging us on the leash), having her butt rubbed, occasionally eating wood such as door frames, barking at anyone or anything that comes in the yard 
Dislikes:  Most other dogs, thunder, fireworks, any loud noise, being left outside 
Personality profile:  Ginger is serious; she is all business all the time.  Nothing gets by her.  She knows every word in the english language.  Perhaps she's a little too smart for her own good.  Some may call her anxiety ridden and neurotic, both of which would be very true. She has levels of death stares when she wants something - the picture above is a level 1.  The levels go up to 5, which is really intense.  She never gives up on anything - ever.  She spends most of her day on high alert for any potential threats. 
Why we chose Ginger:  We were just married and living in Oxford and on our way to a basketball game.  After eating lunch we saw a man with puppies in the back of his truck.  She jumped in our face for 10 minutes and we just had to have her.  She is totally high maintenance but we love her to death.   Look how cute she was as a puppy...
This next picture really sums up Ginger:
And now for Ginger's "touched up" photo as I experiment with editing:

Name: Maggie
Age:  4 1/2
Sign:  Aries 
Likes:  People, dogs, toys, cuddling, licking 
Dislikes:  None 
Personality profile: The opposite of Ginger.  Maggie is laid back doesn't have a care in the world.  She loves everybody and everything - one of those dogs that will lick and nudge you until you give her attention.  I'm not sure she knows any words.  Her M.O. is to roll on her back no matter what command you give her.   She spends most of the day sleeping on her back with her legs flailing around in the air.  The other day there was a stranger at the glass door and we found her whimpering and rolling on her back at the door with her tail wagging.  Very scary.
Why we chose Maggie:  again, Jack and I were having lunch with no intentions of getting a dog.  We saw a guy with puppies and Maggie was all curled up under a chair paying us no attention.  I really wanted her but we were going to say no - until some scary guys came up to look at her also.  I had a flash in my head of her chained in a yard with no food or water and I yelled across the parking lot that we would take her, before they could get any further with their transaction.   She was such a sweet puppy
This next picture pretty much sums up Maggie:
And Maggie's touch up:

If our dog rearing skills are any indication of our child rearing skills, we are in big trouble.

Friday, September 2, 2011

I know how to party

Below is an email I sent to Jack today, who kindly runs errands for me when I need things faster than amazon two day shipping.  This pretty much sums up my existence. 

From: Sage Nichols []
Sent: Friday, September 02, 2011 9:55 AM
To: Jack Nichols
Subject: list

Extra birthday presents that I need….

Dry mouth patches (on dental isle)
Biotene toothpaste