Saturday, September 30, 2017

A meeting of the minds.

A rare happy hour with B & F before picking up D from school. 

Franklin is ONE! ONE!

Here Franklin and Daily stare at each other because they super, super love each other. Daily says she wants to marry Franklin. For real. That's not allowed and she'll certainly get over that idea, but it's a cool that Daily loves Franklin and Franklin loves Daily. 

CAKE! Glorious cake.

The best/worst part of small kids is when you do something like fold laundry and get help!

Friday, September 1, 2017


  • Tonight is my first Movie Night. Daily & B have their own movie nights when I work or am out of town. Movie nights involve a snacky dinner and a move (duh). Daily is pretty apprehensive about most movies and deems many "too scary." This is understandable because she's 3 and because our offerings are sometimes unintentionally frightening. So far D has seen a few Winnie the Pooh movies and Lady & The Tramp. At this very moment we are watching Finding Nemo. I've teared up twice and I've seen this movie (dozens of times in pieces at work) before. But Brave D is loving this movie so far. She's got some sea life smarts from watching The Octonauts, visiting the Shedd Aquarium and her regular daily Daily curiosity.
  •  B and I have been married for 7 years. Whoa!
  • B has a new video game that is playing a little Morraccan-sounding tune as he dozes off while Daily gets herself dozing off. #bedtime
  • We might do a little fall getaway! Camping? Visiting a city nearby (Milwaukee or St. Louis/Town-With-A-Frown?)? Just making our friends in Champaign-Urbana host us? Unknown! What's next!?!?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Quick check-in: August

Block Party! One of the best days of the year -- Daily agrees.

Franklin was uncertain about his mustache but loved the Block Party too.

Daily was a flower girl in a friend's wedding at the Adler Planetarium. We had a blast, thanks to Grandma & Grandpa who hung out and took over Flower Girl duty so we could stay out late. I got my dress from Rent The Runway and LOVED the dress & whole experience. 

Work is zany, but terrific. I still love working all over the place, and I'm even getting slightly used to the Emergency Department.

Rise and shine!

Foster Ave Beach -- delightful! 

I'm declaring summer extended at least until mid-September and we're going to do more of the fun stuff we did in August then. More swimming in the lake, more picnics, more running outside. But fear not, we've been all over creation these last few months. Whew! 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer fun

We eat outside a lot these days and it's just the best. My boss at work handed-down some plates that her kids were done with that have compartments. Somehow these plates actually remind us to serve lots of options, like this plate of berries, cheese, rice & a guacamole cup (with chips on the side for dipping). Delicious.

We made a stop in Loves Park -- it was just cool enough for a fire with marshmallows with Grandma Karen & Grandpa John. We also got to crash into walls of ice cream containers -- a new & terrific Criner grandparent tradition.

After a long stretch of crabby figuring-out time, Franklin is a happy guy. He rolls, crawls and eats all kinds of food. Most importantly, he can chase after his most favorite person in the whole world -- his big sister.

We were lucky enough to have a visit from Aunt Cindy who was in town for a deposition & other lawyer stuff.


The annual Fergus family campout was great fun! Franklin slept like a dream in the pack-n-play inside the tent. Daily fell asleep outside with us and then slept in her sleeping bag. 

We ran around, played with aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents, swam in the pool, blew bubbles, read books in a hammock and ate camping food (little cereals, juice boxes, chips. strawberries, grapes, crackers, more chips...). On Sunday morning Daily woke up and asked if we could do the nighttime camping stuff she missed after falling asleep in B's arms, so we might do another campout in the fall. 

We really lucked out with not-too hot weather, one storm that ended with a giant rainbow, great co-campers & campsite visitors, cold beer and happy kids. 


Aunt Julie sends the best packages or the worst packages, depending on your opinions about confetti/tinsel. 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Happy Nurses Week!

It's that weird week of the year that's dedicated to Teacher Appreciation, Nurses and Mother's Day. Not gonna get into how there's one week dedicated to all this female-oriented stuff, but happy week, all. 

Daily & I gave some awesome treats and card to her teachers yesterday. And I've been told that we'll be enjoying a good breakfast for Mother's Day (I'm working this weekend, which is fine, and I always love breakfast!) 

But... Nurses Week is near and dear to me as a nurse myself, a parent and a patient. 

Since last year's Nurses Week, I had preeclampsia and Franklin was born about 4 weeks early. In the midst of it all -- me getting a magnesium drip to prevent seizures from preeclampsia, Franklin needing a little respiratory support, the regular stuff after a baby is born -- I bled a lot. Like call-in-all-the-troops bleeding. 

Thankfully, one amazing nurse asked another amazing nurse what she thought and that nurse called the troops in. (I call them "the troops", but it's really a post-partum hemorrhage team that includes many nurses, many OB/maternal-fetal-med doctors and anesthesiologists.) 

I only remember this in the weird speed of fuzzy memories -- more than a dozen people swarmed in, my blood pressure was very low - 80/40 - after weeks of being high, I got amazing pain/anesthesia meds, doctors & nurses did a lot of crazy things and after losing more than 2 liters of bleeding, it was totally, beautifully stopped. I got antibiotics. I got cryopreciptate (a blood product) and hours of monitoring. 

Nurses saved my life. Like, for real. Women die from massive blood loss after delivering babies. Women die from preeclampsia. Women die from these things in America, not just in far away places. I knew this was a possibility, because I'm a nurse and I'm a patient with exceptional doctors, but it still seemed very strange. 

I cannot give words to the amazing attention, intelligence, speed, thoughtfulness and care of my medical team -- exceptional? brilliant? Treating me like I was their best friend/sister/mom/daughter? I can't even. When I think about this day, these hours, it's terrifying. I still don't totally understand it all, but I know that Franklin's delivery and my post-delivery course wasn't a joke. It wasn't great. It was rightfully very scary.

But I'm here & healthy. And Franklin's here & healthy because of nurses' tremendous knowledge, action and care. 

A nurse was worried. Maybe she saw this before. Maybe she read about it. Maybe she just got a weird feeling. Maybe she noticed me looking pale and my pressures dropping. Maybe she saw something that didn't seem right, a tiny thing or a big thing, and then paid extra attention to some other things that pushed her toward "this is bad." I have no idea. I know my nurse that night was Agnes -- who will always be a hero in our house.

I remember this now, as a patient looking up at doctors and nurses -- woozy, uncertain, worried about Franklin, Daily & Brian, trying to make nurse-sense of what was happening to me. Nurses explained what was happening, they apologized for sticking me for labs, explained more, they put their hands on my me as they told me what to expect and brought me the most refreshing tiny cans of Diet Ginger Ale that have ever existed. They charted and charted and charted and charted. 
When it was all done, a nurse brought me to see Franklin on my way to another 14 hours of bedrest on magnesium. Agnes, it so happened, asked "Will you call him Frank the Tank?"

He was a big baby and we'd settled on the name Franklin months before he was born but "Frank the Tank" had never crossed my mind but we LOVE Old School which features a Frank the Tank cheer. 

Now we do call him Frank the Tank -- even though he is soft, snuggly and smiley. He's our little tank. He and I toughed out a tough labor and a tough pregnancy. We remember it now as tough -- not tragic or traumatic -- because of nurses. 

Thank you all. Nurses, your work matters so, so, so much. Thank you.

*We also had the best, best, BEST doctors in the world of Maternal Fetal Medicine, obstetrics, anesthesia, NICU. Great doctors + great nurses = amazing things (like a healthy mama, a Franklin, a Daily, their dad). 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

What's new?

Out outstanding, terrific world is busy and joyful and messy and happy. 

Daily ready for bed in a 36-year-old t-shirt. Not kidding. There are pictures of me wearing this (fitting similarly). Dig'em Smacks! Kinda amazing that this shirt hasn't degraded into dust, right?

Overall, Franklin look good in overalls.

If D is around F is gazing at her adoringly. #bigsister #littlebrother #love

D loves routines. Like eating a peanut butter sandwich and raisins on the steps. And drinking smoothies/"smoovies" in a grown-up cup with a straw on the front porch with a blanket.

Four-nightshifts-in-a-row for me = whoa! Victory, thanks to Dunkin coffee, lunch prep and my brother visiting in the midst!


"I put these on my feet like Kermit."

Go Cubs! Daily actually enjoyed the Cubs game, despite the rain and cold. We had a blast at breakfast and then the Cubbie Bear beforehand. And, we saw the World Series Champion Trophy!!! Whoa.

Monday, March 13, 2017

hi there!

So, things are batty and messy and exhausting and and dizzyingly wonderful. Like, my schedule is different all the time and every week is a terrific balancing act of childcare, sleep, work and whatever else we are doing. But it's great. I think I've said this before (the refrain of the working parent?). 

Major things we are enjoying these days....

This little Tank: Franklin is little, growth chart wise, but growth charts don't measure cheeks or chins. Franklin just started rolling over like a stubborn little fella! He gets stuck pretty often as he rolls, like with his arm underneath him or running into the edge of his crib. Toddler problems, right?

Astronaut Daily in the space helmet we made together. This one got tossed outside and then got rained on (oopsie-dada) so we made another that's (I daresay) even better! 

Gah! This little guy. We really rock out our Cat Bird Baby carrier and get around town comfy-cozy. It's nice to be close to Franklin as we run errands, pick up his sister or make dinner. 

We made a terrific mid-week visit to Rockford for a Kristen Chenoweth concert with B at the Coronado Theater (and drinks/dinner beforehand!!!) and then some Grandma-Grandpa time for Daily, including going to Wiggle Giggle Grow at the Loves Park Library. It's a fantastic library program with lots of fun, excellent songs and a rice table! 

Cheers to time away from these amazing, adorable, awesome little kids.