Friday, September 23, 2011

big and little kids

Ever since I started working on a pediatric unit people keep asking me, "Do you like taking care of all those babies?" Which I do! I totally do! But, I keep explaining to them that the pediatric unit takes children all the way up to eighteen years. We also take care of the "just a few dayers" too. The NICU is for the baby babies. But if a baby goes home from the NICU and has to come back one day later, they come back to the PICU. Going home is the dividing line.

Anyway, my point is we have big and little kids.
Yesterday, I was taking care of an 18 day old preemie. My coworker was taking care of a 13 year old who produces massive poops. Yes, I'm blogging about poop. I'm a nurse and it's a part of my job description, so, I'm sorry if it bothers you. Seth walked over to weigh the diaper he had just changed. He looked at the number and called over to me, "I think he just pooped out something the size of your little guy!"

Needless to say, yes, I like taking care of the little babies. It's just one small wipe for mankind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

An auspicious wedding

Okay, I tried to start this blog as if it hasn't been seven weeks since my last post. I couldn't do it. So, I am very sorry I haven't touched this in so long. Our lives haven't been boring, we've just been taking internet hiatuses. I don't even know if that's how you spell that.

So....moving on.

Labor Day weekend, Jim and I took a flying (double meaning - it was fast and we took a plane) trip to Chicago for Victor and Sneha's wedding. Sneha's family is from India and Victor had told us that the entire country was coming for the event. The church wedding was Friday night and the Indian wedding was Saturday afternoon.

We arrived Friday afternoon and took a cab to the Sheraton. Our friend and neighbor, Nate, was with us. It was 18.6 miles from the O'Hare airport to the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Chicago. That cab ride took us a hour and 50 minutes. We were crammed into the the backseat with the air conditioning barely making it through the open pane of the dividing glass panel. Bumper to bumper traffic is an understatement. I closed my eyes and pretended I was somewhere else. Jim read every billboard, bumper sticker and graffiti signage he could clamp his eyes on. Nate tried to read. It was miserable. And then it cost us fifty dollars.

After inhaling a burger and fries, we dashed up to our rooms to get ready. Well, I was dashing, as I need more time. Jim flopped onto the bed.

A bus was provided for those of us who were at the hotel. The bus driver nearly drove into the walkway of the church. But, thanks to good brakes (which resulted in a couple of face plants into the seats in front of us) he managed to avoid that mark on his driving record. The wedding was in a beautiful Lutheran church, with wooden beams and glass walls. It was lovely.

Saturday am - Jim, to my utter delight, mentioned that he would like to wear a hat to the wedding. I didn't know he liked hats!! This also meant we had to go shopping, which is another reason to be delighted!! So, off we went, walking through downtown Chicago. We walked through Millenium Park and saw an outside yoga session. Did I mention I forgot my camera? Hundreds of people laying in a field doing yoga! We walked to Dunkin' Donuts (after the taxi price, we weren't feeling like spending money) and watched the public go by. Three things I remember:
1) A woman walked by with high narrow wedged heels. Heels that catch sidewalk cracks very easily and often. Right in front of Dunkin' Donuts. She managed not to fall by waving her arms wildly in the air. She then passed on out of sight. Seven minutes later, she was on the other side of the street, shopping bag in hand. She stopped on the corner and pulled out her new pair of flip-flops. She yanked off her wedges and dropped them into the garbage can. With her new flip flops, she walked off, ready for the day.
2) A woman carrying a baby. And also carrying her baby stroller.
3) How utterly wonderful it was to walk around with my husband, knowing he was enjoying it as much as I was. We joked and talked and made decisions, and laughed some more. Delightful.

Saturday pm. I set a record for getting ready for a wedding. I mean, shower, hair, makeup, dressing.... I told Jim that the next time I made us late to remember this.

This was our schedule-
3:30-4:30 - Baraat
4:30-6:00 Wedding Ceremony
6:00-7:30 Cocktail Reception
7:30-12:00 Dinner and Dance
12:01 - Pass Out in My Bed

The baraat is the bridegroom's wedding procession before the ceremony. There was a drummer there, drumming along to loud, pulsing Indian music. There were rented turbans which all of the guys put on. So, I wore my husband's new hat as the bedazzled turban became his headgear. Victor walked down a red carpet and mounted a small set of stairs as a decked out horse was walked up to him. Mind you, it took about a half hour to get to this point. With continuous dancing. He climbed on and we danced in front of the horse in front of the Sheraton. We followed the drummer into the hotel, up the escalator and into the foyer of the ballroom, still dancing. Some of the Indian dance moves we learned looked like twisting in lightbulbs with both hands while jumping on one foot. Or, you can twirl pasta out of your hand into the air. We learned these... from YouTube of course! The horse stayed outside. Dance and dance and clap and clap. Again. And again.

Wedding ceremony - The program, thankfully, fully explained what each section meant. The man officiating it, though he would chant in the Sanskrit language, would stop and explain everything in English as well. With his accent, he was hilarious. Italics are the program. Quotations are the... officiate.
"Welcome to the auspicious Marriage Ceremony of Sneha and Victor!" Auspicious? Okaaay?

Vadhu Aagman (Arrival of the Bride) - The bride and groom stand facing each other separated by the cloth screen, symbolizing their separate identies. "Most of the time, the groom hasn't seen the bride. We pretend that Victor hasn't seen the Sneha. He doesn't know what's behind door three!" .... later, while struggling to hold up the cloth screen and prevent Victor from looking at Sneha, "You are too tall! This is too short!.... No! No! Don't look!"

During one point, the wrong music was clicked on and for a few seconds we had the crazy bollywood music from the baraat. When it was quickly shut down the little man on the stage said, "Now, back to our melodious ceremony."

Vivah Hom - Victor was responsible for lighting a fire. "You remember the song, 'C'mon Baby Light My Fire?' So, he will light her fire. I mean! He will light THE fire!"

Often in the middle of his chants he would say something in English. It would sound like this: "Amangalsutraaaaaa bandhannnn, anandasukhasaptapadeeeee.... oooh, excuse me for spitting!.... Kaan Pline n annngiiiii Parikramasaptapadiiii...... no, no you have to do the water first ......Prajapalannnn rituuuuuaaaaaacharannnnn.... wipes! We need some wipes!......Swaaagattganeshpujjuaaaaa kanyadaaaaaan!"

But the highlight? They served ice cream in the middle of the ceremony! I mean, if you're going to have a hour and a half ceremony you probably should, but seriously? I saw the family on the front row being served something and I just assumed it was a part of the ceremony... but then little glass bowls of a rasberry sorbet with mango candy was passed down. And that was what everybody talked about! It was hilarious. During cocktail hour the start-up conversations pretty much went like this - "Wow. That was really long!" "Yeah, but the ice cream made it worth it!"
"So, what did you think?" " I think I'm going to serve ice cream at my wedding!"
"You know what I was wondering?" What?" "How did the tradition of serving ice cream during the ceremony NOT get passed down into American culture?"

It was fun. It was also convenient to be only an elevator ride away from your room. Go upstairs, rest for a few minutes, then go back downstairs. We ate, drank, danced and were merry. And as my schedule said, we collapsed into bed at midnight.

The next morning, we walked 20 minutes to the train, paid $2.25, and rode 45 minutes to the airport. Lesson learned.