Thursday, January 27, 2011

Family History Project.

I was reading from the institute family history manual about the importance of gathering info about your family and it made me think about my immediate family. Recently I got a book of family history that my Rammell relatives put together. In it are stories and histories and testimonies from everyone from my great great great grandfather Charles Holling Rammell down to the current generation. It was really neat to read about everyone and get to know my family members. I was sad because so many of my relatives decided not to participate.

I instantly had this idea that it would be fun to make a book about my immediate family so we could get to know each other better and those who came after us could really get to know about us and our lives. I have decided to email my brother, sister and parents a weekly topic with a few questions for them to answer. I am going to put them all together into the book towards the end of the year and give it to them for Christmas. None of them every read my blog so they won't know I am doing this. All they know is that I am working on a secret project. This weeks topic is about Job and career choice. I asked my family why they chose the career fields they work in and what lead them to that point. I thought I would blog my response here.

Occupational Therapy and why it was the job choice for me.

Ever since I was little I always knew I wanted a job that involved helping people. For a long time I wanted to be a veterinarian because I loved animals and thought it would be fun to help them. As I got older and realized all the biology and schooling involved I changed my mind.

When I first got into college I decided that I wanted to go into nursing since it involved helping people. I started taking all the pre-requisite classes to get into the nursing program. Shortly after that I started working at IHC as a Certified Nurses Assistant. I loved that job because I always felt like I was providing a service for people and spending my time helping others. I didn't mind working on Sundays because I felt like the people I worked with needed help with their basic daily tasks such as getting showered and dressed and fed if I didn't do it, no one else would. I loved that I got to connect with my patients on a deeper level through helping and serving them. I enjoyed getting to know their history and life stories especially since I worked with so many elderly patients. I started having a lot of physical challenges with my knees from some running injuries but even though I would wake up in a lot of pain, I still loved going to my job because of the difference I felt that it made. It eventually got to be too much though so I ended up quiting. At this time I decided that I didn't really want to pursue nursing anymore.

During my IHC job I got my first exposure to occupational therapy. The first patient I ever worked with suffered a traumatic brain injury and required 24 hour supervision for the first few months to prevent another fatal fall. She was the most wonderful lady named Karen. I stayed with her from 7am-5pm every day for an entire summer. While I was there, I would see her occupational therapist come and work with her and do things like help her to be able to balance her checkbook, cook, bathe, and other life skills that she could previously do before her fall. The occupational therapists goals were to help her become independent with these skills again. It was neat to see how the therapist could use an activity like baking a cake to work on kitchen safety, dynamic balance, organizational skills, problem solving, following directions, etc. It was fun to see how much Karen improved and became more independent. I asked the occupational therapist all about what it took to become an OT and when she said it was a masters degree I immediately put it out of my realm of possibilities.

After my CNA job, I worked for a couple of years supervising mentally disabled adults at their apartments while I worked on my bachelors degree at the U. I helped them with basic life skills, took them grocery shopping, helped them with their bills, took them on outings, etc. I really enjoyed it. During this time period I had a friend from institute who was in the occupational therapy program who reminded me about this career. I became really interested it, and looked more into it and decided it would be the job for me. I would get to help people who had suffered accident or illness that made them reliant on other people to do basic daily activities such dressing, bathing, cooking a simple meal, and leisure interests become independent again. It appealed to me more than nursing because instead of helping people each day, I could help someone to learn how to help themselves so they didn't need to rely on me or anyone else. I looked at it like the analogy of give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. I realized that this is why occupational therapy fit me better than nursing.

I started working as a rehabilitation aide assisting occupational therapists and I was hooked. I reflected back and realized that my job experience the past few years related to occupational therapy, so I decided to apply for the program. I was almost done with my bachelors degree so a masters degree now seemed in the realm of possibilities. It turns out I already had most of my pre-requisites done since I was previously a nursing major and the anatomy, physiology, and other course requirements were similar. I finished the last pre-requisites along with my other coursework for my sociology degree. I graduated with my bachelors degree in Aug of 2005 and started my masters program 2 weeks later. After 3 long years of hard work I graduated from the occupational therapy program. I have now been working out in the field for 2 and a half years and LOVE my job! I am working with the population I originally fell in love with as a CNA, the elderly. So that is how I came to become an occupational therapist.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Christmas Break Ginger Bread House Fun.

Since I am sick and have some time to blog, I thought I would catch up. For Christmas we went to Colorado to visit Erik's sister and her family. We went with Erik's parents and his brother Cody. On Christmas day we decided to make ginger bread houses and it was a lot of fun. Erik and Cody of course decided to do something super complicated, so they made a ginger bread tree house. Erik never does anything simple. I was skeptical it was going to turn out good, but it ended up being the awesomest ginger bread house I have ever seen.

Erik's mom had this awesome way to make ginger bread glue melting granulated sugar. It holds like a rock so it made the ginger bread tree house feasable. She also had this awesome frosting that was way better. so I think our ginger bread houses turned out really well. I decided to go with a more simple house not quite as awesome, but still turned out pretty alright. Here are the pictures from that night.

Catching Up. Utah vs. BYU game

I am finally getting around to posting the pictures from the Utah BYU game. As you all know, my brother and I are avid ute fans and have season tickets in the MUSS. We have had them every year since 2003. We were sitting on the 20th row, and it was a glorious view to watch Utah take down BYU. The last field goal attempt was a nail biter, but of course the kick was blocked and we won. Everyone stormed the field including us, and it was soo much fun. 17-16 woot woot. All the BYU fans may say we should have lost, but the reality is if we should have lost we would have, but we didn't. Anyway, it was a super fun game to watch. Here are the pictures from all the fun.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Ultrasound results are in. We are having a ........

So Erik and I cheated and went to fetal photos last month and had an ultrasound. We were too excited to wait till they 20 week ultrasound to find out what we were having. At our ultrasound we found out that we are having a baby boy!!! Deep down I knew this thanks to mother's intuition, but it was great to be able to see it for sure. Erik was surprised that I was right, I think cause deep down he really wanted a little girl, but a mother knows.

This week we went for our official 20 week ultrasound and had it re-confirmed that we are having a baby boy. So now it is official official. We also got to see how healthy he is developing so it was very comforting. His heart is developed well with all 4 chambers intact and pumping the blood well. His brain is developed nicely,he has all of his vertebrae, and his kidneys function well. Everything looked healthy. It is such a relief because with the wild card of genetics, so many things can go wrong during the development.

We have decided to name him Eli. Erik wanted to name our first boy Eli because that was the name of the boy on his senior animation project called the pajama gladiator. It was a cute 3 minute animation short about a little boy that fights aliens with his blanket. It won a student emmy because it was so good. We are excited to show it to him when he is little and tell him, "Look, it's you!"

So We are excited to welcome Eli into the world sometime around June 4th. Now you all know:)

laying on his arm at 15 weeks

His cute little arm at 15 weeks

It's a boy!

Baby profile at 20 weeks. Isn't he sweet?

Pregnancy Challenges.

I want to remind myself how blessed I am and that I am very lucky because pregnancy has been a very hard journey that no one could have prepared me for. Some women will tell you that being pregnant is the best experience ever. This is generally not true for most women. Although it is a great blessing to be pregnant, it isn't easy. Between feeling sick to your stomach and tired all the time, pregnancy insomnia, the changing hormones, and the change of your body appearance (not for the better), it is all quite the adjustment.

Right now I am feeling the feelings that every pregnant woman goes through. I am feeling very fat and unattractive. Thanks to pregnancy hormones you tend to break out a lot, your hair goes limp, and you get fat everywhere! Even your earlobes start to look fat! I know this will pass and that this a normal part of pregnancy. It just isn't very easy on a woman's self esteem, especially living in a society so focused on beauty.

Because I have been feeling this way, I have spent the last two days looking at blogs and you tube video's on how to do hair and makeup in order to try and find some way to feel beautiful again. For some reason just watching these have helped me to feel better. I feel like at least I have a few ideas on how to spruce up my appearance and make myself feel prettier. I can't control all the things that are happening to my body, but at least I can use a little makeup and hair gel to make the canvas I have been given right now to look a little nicer. It makes me feel like I have control over something.

I have also recommitted myself to eating healthier and watching my intake. They tell you that you need only 300 extra calories a day when you are pregnant. That is a basically 1 cookie or 1 slice of pizza. I can't control that fact that I am going to gain weight because that is a natural part of pregnancy, but I can control what I put in my body and minimize the damage. I want to give my baby healthier more nutrient dense food to help him develop better anyway. So by trying to eat healthy and nutritious, eat several small meals a day, and make sure I am only eating what my body needs this will help me and the baby to be happier and healthier. It will also make the post pregnancy recovery and weight loss a lot easier.

I also want to exercise as much as my body will allow. I plan to swim 2-3 times a week with my triathlon group and do water aerobics and yoga on the other days. I realize that due to all the energy that it takes to create another life this will not always be possible. Pregnancy fatigue makes regular exercise difficult. So If I make it to the pool a couple of times a week and make it to 1 yoga class I will be happy. But my goal will be to exercise every day. I know if I make this a goal, I will at least make it to the gym a 3 times a week. It worked this week anyway, and I felt so much better.

Although pregnancy creates feelings of unattractiveness, just blogging and making a plan about the things I can control makes me feel better. Although the challenges of being pregnant have been hard, they are teaching me how to overcome adversity and look for the positive things I can do. Not to mention, I get a sweet little baby boy out of all of this in the end.